HS2 will boost Worcester's train services, says Government

Worcester News: HS2 rail link: backed by Worcester's MP HS2 rail link: backed by Worcester's MP

THE £50 billion HS2 high-speed rail-link will help improve Worcestershire's must-criticised train services, the Transport Secretary has revealed.

Patrick McLoughlin has revealed for the first time that Worcester can expect to benefit once the new London to Birmingham stretch is in operation.

During a House of Commons debate, he said it will "free up capacity" and allow for faster trains in the region, including the London to Worcester line.

It follows a report from KPMG last year, which revealed Worcestershire's economy is set to benefit from up to £375 million of new investment once the link reaches the Midlands in 2026.

It also comes just a month after Mid-Worcestershire MP Sir Peter Luff railed against poor links from the county to the south.

Mr McLoughlin was responding to questioning from Worcester MP Robin Walker on Monday, who intervened in a statement updating politicians on the HS2 plans.

Mr Walker said: "Can the secretary of state reassure my constituents that nothing in this statement will preclude investment in delivering faster services between London and Worcester and addressing the absurdity that a journey or just over 130 miles, which took less than two hours in 1910, takes more than two-and-a-half hours today."

Mr McLoughlin said HS2 would free up capacity and create a knock-on affect for operators to improve services, including those serving Worcester and London.

After the debate Mr Walker said: "One of the things I've been trying to ensure is that HS2 isn't taking money away from other much-needed rail improvements.

"I want to make sure we are getting something out of the equation, so the positive response is very welcome.

"I'm broadly in favour of HS2 based on those assurances."

Earlier this month, Mr McLoughlin admitted that legislation needed to build the high-speed rail project would not become law before the next general election in 2015.

After 2026 the plan is to extend it towards the north, taking in Leeds and Manchester on two tracks by 2033.

The Government says once complete it will reduce journey times from Birmingham to the capital to just 40 minutes.

But the Labour Party has refused to back it, saying it cannot sign a "blank cheque" for the project due to concerns over the estimated costs.

The Government has put £14 billion aside to avoid getting into a financial mess if the bill spirals, but future delays could see it go further.

Comments (10)

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4:35pm Fri 28 Mar 14

John Herbert Smith says...

This article is not correct.
Worcester will benefit, but the journey time savings will be for travel via Birmingham. HS2 will have no effect on the Cotswold line capacity.

London to Birmingham Curzon Street 45 min
15 min interchange
Birmingham New Street to Worcester 45 min

Total journey time 1 hour 45 min

A 45 minutes saving! Please correct the article.
This article is not correct. Worcester will benefit, but the journey time savings will be for travel via Birmingham. HS2 will have no effect on the Cotswold line capacity. London to Birmingham Curzon Street 45 min 15 min interchange Birmingham New Street to Worcester 45 min Total journey time 1 hour 45 min A 45 minutes saving! Please correct the article. John Herbert Smith
  • Score: 3

5:10pm Fri 28 Mar 14

Hwicce says...

How many new trains could they buy for the Worcester to London service with the money being spent on HS2?

It would be much better values for money if they just bought the trains and scrapped the white elephant. We might even be able to have Norton Parkway!!!
How many new trains could they buy for the Worcester to London service with the money being spent on HS2? It would be much better values for money if they just bought the trains and scrapped the white elephant. We might even be able to have Norton Parkway!!! Hwicce
  • Score: 3

6:08pm Fri 28 Mar 14

dropkick55 says...

Its all BS!
Its all BS! dropkick55
  • Score: 2

7:38pm Fri 28 Mar 14

markskoda says...

Mr. McLoughlin's P.R. people have brought out a general press release and added "Worcester" and "Worcestershire" to make it sound attractive in this area. Other parts of the country will have their own local names added.
I travel on Virgin services between Birmingham and London quite frequently. At all times of the day including peak travel times First Class carriages are almost empty. They form up to one third of the train. Second Class is usually full to bursting. It's a little less obvious on the Cotswold Line but near enough the same. We are in at the prolonged birth of a white elephant.
Mr. McLoughlin's P.R. people have brought out a general press release and added "Worcester" and "Worcestershire" to make it sound attractive in this area. Other parts of the country will have their own local names added. I travel on Virgin services between Birmingham and London quite frequently. At all times of the day including peak travel times First Class carriages are almost empty. They form up to one third of the train. Second Class is usually full to bursting. It's a little less obvious on the Cotswold Line but near enough the same. We are in at the prolonged birth of a white elephant. markskoda
  • Score: 2

9:27pm Fri 28 Mar 14

copierman says...

The 1910 journey times of 2 hours from Worcester to Paddington were achieved because the line was dual track all the way.
The 1910 journey times of 2 hours from Worcester to Paddington were achieved because the line was dual track all the way. copierman
  • Score: 9

10:48pm Fri 28 Mar 14

Landy44 says...

As a twenty year plus traveller on the lines from Worcester/Birmingham to/from London I can say with some experience that whilst I'd like to support HS2, the porpaganda is tosh (and that's being extremely polite). HS2 will have no benefit for Worcester and is in fact likely to be detrimental - consider it a "by-pass"! Worcester will be even more in the wilderness!
As a twenty year plus traveller on the lines from Worcester/Birmingham to/from London I can say with some experience that whilst I'd like to support HS2, the porpaganda is tosh (and that's being extremely polite). HS2 will have no benefit for Worcester and is in fact likely to be detrimental - consider it a "by-pass"! Worcester will be even more in the wilderness! Landy44
  • Score: 4

12:04am Sat 29 Mar 14

Guy66 says...

copierman wrote:
The 1910 journey times of 2 hours from Worcester to Paddington were achieved because the line was dual track all the way.
Lets put two fingers in the air to HS2 and go for a local regional airport/heliport....
.
[quote][p][bold]copierman[/bold] wrote: The 1910 journey times of 2 hours from Worcester to Paddington were achieved because the line was dual track all the way.[/p][/quote]Lets put two fingers in the air to HS2 and go for a local regional airport/heliport.... . Guy66
  • Score: 0

12:37am Sat 29 Mar 14

themooman says...

Just drive? Or even better don't go to London ... It's rubbish and smells like cheese in areas
Just drive? Or even better don't go to London ... It's rubbish and smells like cheese in areas themooman
  • Score: 2

10:41am Sat 29 Mar 14

Jabbadad says...

There is an excellent service from Birmingham to London, every hour, my son travels on this quite frequently and also up-grades to first class for a little extra. Tere are big savings in cost to travel to Birmingham and then to London, but obviously takes longer.
This magic few minutes saving on Train times are just a rubbish argument, because there is no other real reason. Surely those who wish to get to London a few minutes earler could / should get up a few minures earlier, JOB DONE.
And as said in these columns, more or longer trains, with some platforms at smaller stations extended, but not always needed since the train conductors on the longer trains already advise passengers several times over the tannoys to move along the train to designated coach exits which will be staionary at the platform.
And yes we did have a dual line from here to London, we also had many branch lines which would be operational now without the idiotic polocies from Dr Beeching. This is yet another reason why this country is struggling with past legacies where polticians had decisive input, and similar today.
There is an excellent service from Birmingham to London, every hour, my son travels on this quite frequently and also up-grades to first class for a little extra. Tere are big savings in cost to travel to Birmingham and then to London, but obviously takes longer. This magic few minutes saving on Train times are just a rubbish argument, because there is no other real reason. Surely those who wish to get to London a few minutes earler could / should get up a few minures earlier, JOB DONE. And as said in these columns, more or longer trains, with some platforms at smaller stations extended, but not always needed since the train conductors on the longer trains already advise passengers several times over the tannoys to move along the train to designated coach exits which will be staionary at the platform. And yes we did have a dual line from here to London, we also had many branch lines which would be operational now without the idiotic polocies from Dr Beeching. This is yet another reason why this country is struggling with past legacies where polticians had decisive input, and similar today. Jabbadad
  • Score: -2

9:35am Mon 31 Mar 14

thesquirrel says...

copierman wrote:
The 1910 journey times of 2 hours from Worcester to Paddington were achieved because the line was dual track all the way.
I could be wrong but I suspect the journey times were largely achieved by not making so many stops: Pershore, Evesham, Morton in Marsh, Honeybourne, Charlbury, Kingham, Hanborough, Oxford, Reading, Slough. It's like taking the Underground all the way to London!

I bet a sub two-hour Worcester to London journey could be achieved with an express service stopping at Oxford and Reading only. Better line management could deliver this.
[quote][p][bold]copierman[/bold] wrote: The 1910 journey times of 2 hours from Worcester to Paddington were achieved because the line was dual track all the way.[/p][/quote]I could be wrong but I suspect the journey times were largely achieved by not making so many stops: Pershore, Evesham, Morton in Marsh, Honeybourne, Charlbury, Kingham, Hanborough, Oxford, Reading, Slough. It's like taking the Underground all the way to London! I bet a sub two-hour Worcester to London journey could be achieved with an express service stopping at Oxford and Reading only. Better line management could deliver this. thesquirrel
  • Score: 1

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