Worcester’s MP, Robin Walker has today brought the Worcester Fast Track campaign to the chamber of the House of commons with a question to the Prime Minister, which celebrated the County’s world class performance in recent growth figures but pointed out more progress needs to be made on reducing journey times to get there.

In a packed and rowdy session of Prime Ministers’ Questions, he asked David Cameron:

“Worcestershire is one of the three fastest growing county economies in the UK, and in Worcester youth unemployment is now down by two thirds since it peaked under Labour. Businesses are investing in our world-class county, but one factor holding back that investment is the long journey time it takes to reach us by rail from the capital. Will the Prime Minister, whose constituency is on the same line, join me in the Fast Track Worcester campaign to deliver us a two-hour service?”

The Prime Minister replied:

I am very keen to join my hon. Friend in this campaign because it would benefit my constituency too. We have seen a dualling of more parts of the Cotswold railway line in recent years and an improvement in car parks, which is all to the good. This is a vital railway service…”

But was then interrupted by the Shadow Chancellor, Ed Balls to whom he replied:

“We are hearing a lot from the shadow Chancellor today. He told us that he was a “long slow burn”, but I have to say that the only thing lying in ashes is Labour’s economic credibility”

Commenting on the exchange Robin Walker said:

“I know we already have support from all of Worcestershire and Herefordshire’s MPs from our County Council, the City Council in Worcester, the Chamber of Commerce and the LEP to press for a faster service between London and Worcester. I am delighted to be able to add the Prime Minister to that list of supporters. I am only disappointed that in the hurly burly of PMQs his answer was cut short today. I am looking forward to working with MPs the whole length of the Cotswold line to secure the best service that we possibly can for all of our constituents and to keep pushing for the vital reduction in journey times my constituents and local businesses all tell me we need.”

 

Notes to editors:

The title Fast track Worcester was announced by Sir Peter Luff MP as the winner of his recent competition for the title for the campaign to improve journey times between Worcestershire and the Capital, his press release can be found here:

http://www.peterluff.org.uk/news_story.php?dataID=1726

Robin has spoken up for a better service for Worcester on a number of occasions and most recently held a dedicated debate on the matter, details of which can be found here:

http://www.walker4worcester.com/articles/view_detail.php?id=11488c33cf4fdf7fba6262ef48c32333

David Cameron has previously supported efforts to improve the line and details can be found here:

http://www.walker4worcester.com/articles/view_detail.php?id=73b036fdf59b4c4df681cb242d8cf13c