Harriett Baldwin's Westminster Diary - The Evesham Observer

Harriett Baldwin's Westminster Diary

Evesham Editorial 21st Oct, 2023   0

MY HUSBAND is a train enthusiast, so I declare an interest in travelling by rail. Just as pioneers like Stephenson and Brunel had the vision to build the early railways we must also have the vision to recognise that linking the UK’s great towns and cities with modern rail services will be a key part of low-emission transport for this next century and the next.

The former county MP, Sir Peter Luff, supported by Worcestershire County Council, had the vision to improve rail connections for the county.

This led to the creation of Worcestershire Parkway Station which had its official opening last month. It is now operating well ahead of expectations with over half a million passengers already having used the new facility. It is ideal for people travelling to Birmingham – getting you into to New Street in half an hour and there are great connections to Nottingham, Cardiff and, of course, the trains to London. The station’s popularity has been acknowledged by Cross Country Trains, which is looking to add extra services and I am asking for a Bristol to Manchester service will be added soon and, one day, Plymouth to Newcastle.

But I have also been keen to continue to make the case for simple and cost-effective improvements which could bring faster, more frequent and more reliable services for local rail users travelling to London and the South East. There are sections of the Cotswold Line track that should be dualled to make that service better, and I continue to make the case for this investment.

Over the last weeks, there has been a passionate national debate about rail transport, and I was delighted to hear that the Midlands Rail Hub will be fully funded with £1.75 billion, connecting 50 stations and over 7 million people – doubling capacity and frequency. I have always supported the new rail capacity for the jobs and growth that it will bring to the Midlands. This country needs a rail vision that will help us to deliver economic growth and a lower carbon transport infrastructure that the Victorians could be proud of.

Pershore’s MP Harriett Baldwin writes for the Observer…


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