WORCESTER'S MP has called for the city to finally get a "world class" train service - and claims it has been "neglected" for rail investment.

Robin Walker has used a House of Commons debate to say it was time for change.

After months of trying the city MP secured a parliamentary debate on the North Cotswold line last Friday, and said train services have long been a "huge concern" for Worcester people.

He said: "This is the main train line to an economy in Worcestershire alone of half a million people, and many more beyond in Herefordshire.

"Worcester is a county town with a population of nearly 100,000 and a work footprint of many more.

"Our line, particularly its western end, has been neglected compared with other areas.

"After it was saved from total destruction in the 1970s it was for a long time single track and too much of it remains so."

He said the service to London "compares very poorly" to other parts of the UK - with people living further from the capital in areas like Exeter, York, Norwich and Northampton getting faster trains.

“For my constituents and those west of Worcester on the line, our poor service means huge substitution is going on, either directly to the roads or through road journeys to other lines and other stations," he said.

He called for Network Rail to work more closely with First Great Western to ensure "every possible minute of line speed" is being delivered.

He also called for more electrification from Oxford and further redoubling in that area, something Prime Minister David Cameron is also backing.

First Great Western is already working on timetable improvements next year, which will lead to some incremental changes including a two hour-seven minute trip to London.

Mr Walker also said "the biggest opportunity" to make huge leaps forward will come when Worcestershire Parkway opens at Norton in 2017.

The package includes a single platform on the Cotswold Line and two platforms on the Birmingham to Bristol Line, opening up the possibility of trips to London in under two hours if operators sign up.

During the debate Mid-Worcestershire MP Sir Peter Luff also spoke, with transport minister Claire Perry responding by saying she "completely recognises the case" for faster services.

She said: "I am fully aware of the strong local feelings and the strong local case being made about the importance of this."

After the debate Harriett Baldwin, MP for West Worcestershire, who is also lobbying for change, said the "clear solution is to complete the dualling of the track between Evesham and Worcester" to allow more trains to run.