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By Gary Smee Thursday 15 November 2012 Updated: 22/11 14:17
THE TRANSPORT minister has agreed to meet the Vale's MPs as they bid to improve train services on the Cotswold Line.
Harriett Baldwin and Peter Luff will discuss the future of the main line from Evesham and Pershore into London when they meet with Simon Burns on December 4.
It comes after Mrs Baldwin and Mr Luff signed a joint letter with their Westminster colleagues Jesse Norman, Robin Walker and Bill Wiggin calling for a faster and more frequent train service and criticising the franchise tender documents published last July for a lack of ambition.
The MPs believe the route, which is partly single-track, is overcrowded and infrequent for users.
Mrs Baldwin said: "The Cotswold Line is a crucial link for businesses and urgently needs improving to help the growth of our local economy.
"At the moment, many of our constituents travel on the West Coast Mainline and to Warwick Parkway to avoid the slow and unreliable service on the Cotswold Line.
"The pause in assessing the West Coast and Great Western bids allows us time to renew our call for an improved service for Herefordshire and Worcestershire commuters and a departmental commitment to invest in the infrastructure."
The meeting with Mr Burns comes as a full review of the West Coast Mainline and rail franchising gets underway.
Evesham's MP Peter Luff, whose Mid Worcestershire constituency includes the site of the proposed Worcestershire Parkway station, added: "Worcestershire is probably the least well connected county in England when it comes to rail travel. But it has the potential to be much better.
"The Worcestershire Parkway station could help change that with faster and more regular trains.
"But to get the most out of it the government also needs to sanction the redoubling of the tack between Evesham and Norton Junction, something that was bizarrely omitted for the major redoubling scheme between Evesham and Oxfordshire."
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