PLANS to make the largest investment in rail services since the Victorian era has been welcomed by West Worcestershire's MP.

Proposals issued by First Great Western will see train times between Malvern and London improved by offering two extra services to Oxford and two routes to London, which are expected to take no more than two hours and seven minutes.

The changes, which have been put out for public consultation, will see 20 minutes shaved off the current journey time, making the service 15 per cent faster.

Harriett Baldwin said: “I am delighted that First Great Western share my aspiration to deliver a faster, more reliable and more frequent rail service from Worcestershire to London on the Cotswold Line.

“With electrification of the London-Oxford line and new rolling stock, it’s clear we have a long term economic plan to improve Worcestershire’s economy and its public transport.

“This news follows the Prime Minister’s intervention to ask for additional funding to complete the dualling of the Cotswold Line to Oxford.

“Together with my colleagues Robin Walker and Sir Peter Luff, and Herefordshire colleagues, we have all lobbied to press for better rail services for our area.

“It is important, however, that people do make sure that they have their say and tell First Great Western that these are much needed improvements to the service.”

The document will form part of the new First Great Western franchise which is due for renewal and the government has already pledged £13 billion to improve rail services into London and made a commitment to delivering HS2.