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6th Jul, 2022

Councillors call for rail upgrade

Malvern Editorial 17th Apr, 2014 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016

COUNCILLORS have called for improvements to railway links between Malvern and London after claims trains are slower than when they were powered by steam.

The move was tabled by councillors Paul Tuthill and Ian Hopwood and given unanimous approval by fellow members at Worcestershire County Council at the latest meeting.

The motion called for full dual tracking and various signalling enhancements along the ‘key corridor’ to be stepped up.

Councillors feared the current state of services on the line was putting the entire county at a disadvantage and deflecting economic growth to other parts of the country.

West Worcestershire MP Harriett Baldwin has also expressed her concern and claimed it currently takes 45 minutes longer to get from Malvern to the capital than it did when commuters travelled on the Cathedral’s Express, which was powered by steam.

Councillors claimed work had previously been held up by a reluctance for an expensive upgrade to Oxford station, but now it appears works will be inevitable there thanks to a decision to electrify the line between the city and London.

Coun Tuthill, who represents Malvern Link, said this was now a ‘major opportunity’ to dual track the line between Oxford and Worcester. He welcomed the council’s decision to accept the motion and also called for the frequency of trains from Malvern to be upped to one every half an hour.

“After a very long meeting this was the only item which received unanimous approval,” he said.

“This is all part of making sure Worcestershire and by extension Malvern, is open for business.

“A lot of people use that line to get to Oxford and London but at the moment the trains are slower than when they were powered by steam.

“This will put us on a par with other parts of the country.”

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