2 April 2024
MP ‘Hopeful’ on Cotswold Line Improvements

West Worcestershire MP Harriett Baldwin says that she is hopeful that a project which aims to double two vital stretches of rail track between Oxford and Worcester can move forward.

The MP joined Witney MP Robert Courts to meet with Transport Minister Huw Merriman to discuss proposals to dual two sections of rail track between Oxford and Worcester allowing more, faster services to and from London and the South East.

Representatives from Oxfordshire and Worcestershire County Council joined the meeting to present a case to revive the project which lost impetus during the pandemic.

Harriett has championed the proposal to double a section of track between Worcester and Pershore for more than a decade which will deliver faster journey times and allow extra services.

The two local authorities have been working together on a proposal and presented a strong business case to the Department for Transport.

Harriett said:

“We had a very positive meeting with the Minister and I am hopeful that the right people are now talking to each other in the Department and Network Rail to find a way to progress this plan.

“Before the pandemic, a strong proposal was made to carry out the dualling of the Cotswold Line but this and many similar projects were mothballed until people returned to the railways.

“Rail use is clearly coming back to normal, and the success of Worcestershire Parkway shows that we now need to focus on delivering faster, more frequent, more reliable services for county commuters. I am confident that the Minister has picked up on the local enthusiasm for this important project.”

Photo: Oxfordshire County Council leader Liz Leffman, Harriett Baldwin MP, Transport Minister Huw Merriman, Robert Courts MP, Lord Faulkner of Worcester and Worcestershire County Councillor Mike Rouse.