29 January 2021
Minister supports Cotswold Line ‘Renaissance’ plan

A long-running campaign to add extra dualling to the busy Cotswold Line train connection between Worcester and London has gained extra impetus with the backing of Ministers in the Department for Transport.

West Worcestershire MP Harriett Baldwin has led a campaign to add return dual tracks to sections of the line outside Pershore and the outskirts of Oxford.

Sections of the route are still single track and Harriett raised her concerns during questions to Transport Ministers in the House of Commons.

A taskforce made up of local authorities, local enterprise partnerships and other stakeholders has commissioned experts to develop a formal business case to make the improvements.

Harriett has called on the Department for Transport to support the North Cotswold Line Taskforce to bid which will be submitted to the Government for consideration at the end of next month.

Harriett commented: “Although some progress has been made speeding up some services to and from London and the South East, we are still hampered by two sections of single line track.

“It is clearly a long-term ambition but I am pleased I have secured the support of MPs along the line and I’ve held debates in Parliament to show Government the strength of support to get this line improved as quickly as possible.

“We’ve already got a new Parkway station, seventeen extra miles of double track, the go-ahead to add a larger car park to the Pershore station, and an improving timetable. Now is the time to look at adding a new platform to the station alongside a new stretch of fully dualled track towards Evesham.

“The Government has spotted the ‘renaissance’ of this busy line and I hope that comes with funds to develop this project so that the long-term planning for restoring our railways and levelling up the region incorporates this scheme”