Minister looks at plea to improve Cotswold Line - The Evesham Observer

Minister looks at plea to improve Cotswold Line

Evesham Editorial 27th Jan, 2020   0

THE LONG-TERM ambition to improve journey times on the Cotswold Line has moved a step closer after a Government minister pledged to respond next month to a bid to dual further sections of the track.

The bid for £1.5 million of funding to develop a full business case has been supported by MPs along the Cotswold Line and was highlighted in a debate in Westminster, led by Pershore’s MP Harriett Baldwin.

The Cotswold Line Taskforce is developing a plan to dual two sections of line – four miles towards Oxford and five miles between Evesham and Pershore – and add station platforms at Pershore and Hanborough. The project aims to further improve journey times for commuters travelling to London and the South East.

Earlier this month, a letter signed by Mrs Baldwin, fellow Worcestershire MPs Nigel Huddleston and Robin Walker, Herefordshire MPs Jesse Norman and Bill Wiggin, and Cotswolds MP Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown was sent to the Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps formally supporting the bid.

Speaking after the debate, Mrs Baldwin said: “I was pleased with the Government response and hope that the business case leads to support from both the Department for Transport and the Treasury ahead of this year’s Budget.

“This debate has the support of all of the MPs who represent constituencies serviced by the line and local authorities and Local Enterprise Partnerships have been closely involved in the planning.

“The line will soon see a brand-new station at Worcestershire Parkway and what we now need is some extra dualling to deliver faster, more frequent, more reliable services for Worcestershire commuters.

“It has been a challenge that Worcestershire MPs have taken up for decades and I hope that we are a step closer to delivering on this long-term ambition.”

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