21 March 2024
Baldwin seeks Government support for dualling of North Cotswold Line

Harriett Baldwin urges the Government to work with local authorities to redouble sections of the North Cotswold Line between Oxford and Worcester to enable faster, more frequent and more reliable services.

North Cotswold Line: Dualling

Harriett Baldwin (West Worcestershire) (Con)

10. Whether he has made a recent assessment of the potential merits of dualling the North Cotswold Line between Oxford and Worcester. (902101)

The Minister of State, Department for Transport (Huw Merriman)

I recognise my right hon. Friend’s long-standing campaign on this scheme; she has worked alongside stakeholders including the North Cotswold Line Task Force. We continue to work with local stakeholders on their aspirations for enhancements to the line.

Harriett Baldwin 

I thank the team of Ministers for the £209 million that has been allocated to Worcestershire County Council from HS2 money, to help with local transport improvements. Will the Minister endorse a project in which we work with Oxfordshire County Council to find ways to redouble sections of the Oxford to Worcester line? That will result in faster, more frequent and more reliable services on the beautiful north Cotswold line.

Huw Merriman 

As my right hon. Friend mentions, additional funding through Network North will help. Network Rail has been working with the taskforce and its consultants on timetable capacity and analysis, to see whether there is a smarter way to deliver additional services, with fewer infrastructure interventions. We expect that work to complete next month. I would be delighted if my right hon. Friend would join me and leaders of Worcestershire and Oxfordshire County Councils, and her neighbouring MP, to discuss this matter in the coming weeks.