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MP calls for key worker support after train route cancellation

3rd April 2020

West Worcestershire MP Harriett Baldwin has criticised a troubled rail franchise operator after abandoning a train service for county key workers.

West Midlands Trains decided to cancel the Hereford for Worcester train with just three days notice to protect other services in its franchise. A continued shortage of drivers means that the service connecting Malvern and Worcester will stop completely on Monday (April 6).

But the Government has today stepped in to protect bus services with a £397 million commitment to help protect vital commuter routes.

The package, agreed jointly with the bus industry, will keep key routes running to provide a lifeline for those who cannot work from home, including those travelling to jobs on the frontline of the UK’s fight against COVID-19.

Harriett commented: “I was disappointed at the short notice of this decision and I am keen to hear the thinking behind it as well as the evidence base it has used to close our commuter line completely.

“The company has a track record of treating our rail commuters as second-class customers and I want to see the clear rationale underpinning this business decision.

“At a time when we need key workers, and especially NHS and social care staff, to be at work, I would be alarmed to think that they can’t get to work because their train has been taken away.

“I am pleased that the Government has stepped in to support the bus operators and I hope that the local bus company will be able to protect their commuter routes between Malvern and Worcester and keep our key workers mobile and able to work.”

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