RAIL JOURNEY times between Worcester and London are set to be cut to under two hours by the end of the year, thanks to a new quicker service which will come into force when operator GWR relaunches its timetable.
The news has been welcomed by the Droitwich Spa Rail Users Action Group chairman Alan Humphries, Mid Worcestershire MP Nigel Huddleston and Coun Ken Pollock, who is the Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Economy and Infrastructure on Worcestershire County Council.
Mr Humphries said: “Myself and the people who commute to London are pleased to hear this service is being introduced.
“The current journey from Worcester to London can be beset with problems and is a long one to be undertaking on a regular basis.
“Anything which makes people’s journeys quicker and less stressful can only be a good thing,” he added.
Mr Huddleston, along with other Worcestershire colleagues, has campaigned for faster, more reliable journeys between London Paddington and Worcestershire stations.
He has also campaigned for the new station, Worcestershire Parkway, which is due to open by the end of 2019.
Worcestershire Parkway will provide connections to Cardiff and Nottingham, with the potential of new services between Bristol and Birmingham.
Mr Huddleston recently met representatives of Great Western Railway (GWR) at the Houses of Parliament to discuss how constituents will greatly benefit from the new winter timetable.
On GWR’s announcement he added: “I am pleased that GWR is to introduce shorter journey times during peak times between Worcestershire and London, which will greatly benefit rail users throughout the county.
“Working alongside my Worcestershire colleagues, I am glad that our efforts have helped convinced GWR of the positive case for implementing quicker train services and shorter commuter times between London and our region.”
“The opening of Worcestershire Parkway Station by the end of this year will continue to increase the frequency of trains and connect us to even more parts of the country.”
Worcestershire County Councillor Ken Pollock, Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Economy and Infrastructure, said the quicker extra services would be important for residents in the county.
“The county’s economy is one of the fastest growing in the UK and the quicker trains will help us to continue to encourage more inward investment. “
GWR has announced it’s 6.43am train from Shrub Hill to London Paddington will take 1 hour 57 minutes and the 5.34pm back will also take under 2 hours.
Journey times from Worcestershire Parkway will be even faster when the station opens later this year.
Better connectivity for the county is an essential element in growing the region’s economy and bringing investment and jobs to Worcestershire. The faster London trains are expected to generate a further 420 jobs in the region.
The new Cross Country Cardiff to Nottingham service will stop at Worcestershire Parkway, which is the first time this service as stopped at a Worcester station for more than 30 years, further increasing connectivity.
The rail industry forecasts up to 97 per cent growth in passenger volumes on Worcestershire routes by 2043.