Rail firm must make changes - The Evesham Observer

Rail firm must make changes

Rob George 22nd Sep, 2018   0

THE RAIL OPERATOR running the Cotswold Line must improve local decision making to focus on county passenger needs following a public consultation on the company’s performance.

Rail Minister Jo Johnson has written to Pershore’s MP Harriett Baldwin confirming the new requirements which have also been published in the Government’s response to the consultation on the future of the Great Western railway franchise.

And although the Minister ruled out splitting the franchise, he confirmed there was scope in the longer term to re-examine franchise boundaries.

Mrs Baldwin has been involved in a lengthy dialogue with the Department for Transport and rail operators to re-assess the Cotswold Line and to improve investment in the busy rail commuter route.

“I have been concerned that over recent years, the current franchise holder has neglected its commitments to the Cotswold Line, promised as part of its franchise renewal in 2015,” she said.

“I am pleased that the Department for Transport has acknowledged this issue and is insisting that the rail operator should improve its focus on delivering what local passengers want.

“We all want to see faster, more frequent, more reliable services for county commuters and I hope that this will lead to an improved level of attention by Great Western Railways.

Mrs Baldwin said she was pleased transport chiefs were willing to examine the current boundaries and hoped the move would allow the line to be moved into a new franchise agreement.

“There is some good news with the recent commitment to build a longer platform at Pershore and train companies agreeing to stop at the new Worcestershire Parkway station but we are all eager to see improved performance for regular rail commuters to and from the county,” she added.

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