Train station car park saga drags on

HOPES of a long-awaited expansion to the car park at Pershore railway station may have hit the buffers again.

The growth of the small car park has been in the offing for about 12 years but the project has been slow moving due to a required land swap between local business owner Mark Carlton-Smith and Network Rail.

At present the car park only has 12 spaces and West Worcestershire MP Harriett Baldwin says this means the station is extremely underused - with people heading to Evesham, Stratford and even Birmingham to catch the train instead.

Things seemed to be on track when planning permission to expand the car park was granted earlier this year.

But Network Rail now says the amount of time it has taken to get to this stage has brought about difficulties accessing funding.

Mrs Baldwin has now written to Network Rail to ask chief executive Mark Carne to investigate the latest delays preventing work starting on a new 64-space car park.

She said: "This saga has been dragging on for too long and Pershore people badly need a proper car park so that they can make best use of the station.

"At the moment the station is not running at capacity because they aren’t able to park at the station. Local people are fed up at having to drive to Evesham, Stratford or even Birmingham to get a train.

"We all hoped that a deal had been reached on the land swap but now Network Rail seems to be dragging its feet.

"I would like to see some urgent progress and so would the people of Pershore."

But Network Rail said it is still keen to see the project move on, but needs to identify funding opportunities first.

A spokesman said: "Network Rail remains keen to improve Pershore station car park although the progress of this scheme has been stymied by issues around the land swap, which has unfortunately affected the funding stream.

"We are currently working closely with First Great Western and the Department for Transport to identify alternative funding opportunities with an aim to deliver this scheme soon."

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