Malvern to see more frequent rail services yet fares could rise by 3.6 per cent - The Malvern Observer

Malvern to see more frequent rail services yet fares could rise by 3.6 per cent

Malvern Editorial 15th Aug, 2017 Updated: 15th Aug, 2017   0

INCREASED rail services through Malvern have been welcomed after London Midland lost ownership of the franchise.

However, rail fares could spike by 3.6 per cent following the takeover by West Midlands Trains (WMT).

The Department for Transport announced WMT will be in charge of running services from December 10 until 2026, bringing an end to London Midland’s ten-year reign as contract holder.

And after winning the franchise, WMT has promised a £1billion investment strategy to improve the rail network between Birmingham and Hereford, which includes stops at Malvern Link and Great Malvern railway stations.




But commuters are set to be hit in the pocket as the Government revealed today (Tuesday) regulated rail fare increases will rise by 3.6 per cent from January – the biggest growth in four years.

WMT are allowed to rise ticket prices in accordance with the Retail Price Index but operators do not always implement the maximum increase.


Despite this, Malvern’s MP Harriett Baldwin, who lobbied for improved commuter services when the franchise was put out to tender last year, has offered her support to WMT as it prepares to deliver its pledges.

“I hope that the transition to the new operator will be smooth and that commuters from Malvern welcome this major investment into our important local transport infrastructure,” she said.

“I also hope that the new train operator will also be able to add extra carriages onto peak-time commuter trains and reduce over-crowding which was another request I submitted as part of the franchise bidding process.

“The trains to and from Birmingham form an important piece of the jigsaw for local commuters and we all look forward to seeing a new company delivering on its promises and making train journeys to the second city much better in the years to come.”

Plans through Malvern include an additional weekday evening service between Birmingham and Hereford in both directions by December next year.

WMT is to boost the frequency of Sunday trains between the two cities with at least five additional services in each direction as well as a providing an earlier Saturday service by May 2021.

The new franchise holder also aims to improve the quality of Malvern Link and Great Malvern railway stations as well as providing better trains and customer service.

Coun Melanie Baker, portfolio holder for sustainable development and infrastructure on Malvern Hills District Council, said: “It is really positive to hear of the new franchise that will bring welcomed investment and extra capacity across the rail network.

“This will be of great benefit to passengers visiting The Malverns, and also supports our Five Year Plan priority – to drive economic prosperity, tourism and growth, which includes supporting road and rail infrastructure improvements, linking our district to the Midlands and London.”

Coun Ken Pollock, responsible for economy and infrastructure on Worcestershire County Council, added: “These improvements, which include extra services and refurbished trains, will have a positive impact and benefit the people of this county.

“We know an efficient transport network is key to our Open for Business priority and ensuring that Worcestershire continues to have a prosperous economy.”

Printing

We can provide all of your printing needs at competitive rates.

Public Notices

View and download all of the public notices in the Malvern Observer.

Announcements

Weddings, Birthdays, Bereavements, Thank you notices, Marriages and more.

Recruitment

Find a career you'll love with our free career finder website.