Worcestershire Rail Investment Strategy
The Council invited comments on their revised draft Worcestershire Rail Investment Strategy (WRIS2) during October 2022. The strategy has been produced to update on the original Rail Investment Strategy which was adopted in 2017, which was influential in securing much needed rail investment in rail infrastructure and facilities in the county.
Rail is critical to the ongoing economic development of the county, providing low carbon travel choice, and the potential for enhanced connectivity to high growth economies throughout the country for businesses and residents in Worcestershire.
The new revised draft Worcestershire Rail Investment Strategy (2022 to 2050) strategy updates the 2017 strategy, reflecting the changes in the industry, ongoing recovery from covid, review of local plans and achievements to date. It sets out the priorities for rail investment is the county, recognising the need for partnership across the rail industry to ensure delivery. The strategy looks to the future setting timelines for delivery to 2050.
Download: Draft Worcestershire Rail Investment Strategy 2022 to 2050 (PDF)
Original Rail Investment Strategy adopted in 2017
Worcestershire County Council adopted its ambitious Rail Investment Strategy to make a strong case for enhanced County rail connectivity in November 2017.
Connectivity improvements can be achieved via local and long-distance rail services, to both regional and UK wide economies in order to promote the Prior to adoption in November 2017, a consultation on the draft Worcestershire Rail Investment Strategy took place over an 8 week period until 11 August 2017, to obtain feedback on the proposals from the public and stakeholders.
This strategy includes the rail schemes contained in the draft Local Transport Plan 4 plus any additional longer term rail aspirations for the county and looks at how these can be developed and prioritised.
The Strategy focuses on four overarching themes for rail service development. Specifically:
- two trains per hour Worcester to Paddington
- one train per hour Kidderminster/Droitwich Spa/Worcester/Paddington
- additional calls at Worcestershire Parkway for Bristol/ Manchester and Plymouth/Newcastle services
- regional service between Kidderminster and Bromsgrove, Worcester and Cheltenham Spa, Gloucester and Bristol
This is supported by key aspirational infrastructure schemes, essential to facilitate this new connectivity, including:
- North Cotswold line capacity upgrade
- Worcester Area and Droitwich Spa to Stoke Works capacity upgrade
- Worcester Shrub Hill station regeneration.
- Electrification of both the Bristol to Birmingham and Snow Hill lines
- New car park capacity and/or new stations
Worcester Transport Strategy
The proposed Worcester Transport Strategy has been developed to identify and deal with transport infrastructure investment for the City of Worcester. This will deliver benefits locally and across the wider region, improving access and network efficiency for all users travelling into, though and/or around the City of Worcester. In particular, this investment will make Worcester more attractive to business, supporting the local and regional economy.
Bringing together the desired outcomes, issues and policy guidance, we are aware that a wide-ranging package of transport measures is required to deliver improvements to the existing network, including the following measures:
- Strategic Highway Improvements including the dualling of the Southern Link Road.
- Local Highway Improvements including junction and pavement enhancements.
- Rail station enhancements.
- The construction of a new Railway Station (Worcestershire Parkway Regional Interchange).
- Exploration of the feasibility of local railway stations.
- Enhancement of the City Centre's public realm, transport infrastructure and services.
- Improvements to infrastructure and services for walking and cycling
- Key corridor improvements to enhance the main routes into and out of the city for all users, smoothing traffic flow and reducing congestion.
- Incentivise greater use and improvement to the perception of sustainable modes (walking, cycling, passenger transport).
- Implementation of Intelligent Transport Systems to improve efficiency and choice.
- Worcester Transport Strategy Map (PDF)
- Worcester Transport Strategy Major Scheme Bid - Executive Summary (PDF)
- Worcester Transport Strategy - Consultation Document (PDF)
- Worcester Transport Strategy Consultation Report(PDF)
Worcester Transport Strategy: Phase 1
Our funding bid for transport improvements in Worcester has been successful. The proposals include:
- Strategic Highways Improvements: Enhancements to the key junctions on the Worcester Southern Link Road, to improve traffic flow, particularly at peak times and reduce transport costs to businesses and road users;
- Rail Station Enhancements: This will involve investment and improvement in passenger and interchange facilities at Worcester Foregate Street and Malvern Link stations, helping to improve the quality of rail travel and encourage increased use of these under-utilised transport assets. The improvements to passenger facilities to Worcester's Foregate Street will include upgrading of signage, the ground level waiting area, information and ticketing facilities, lighting, security and improved sheltered walk links to Foregate Street and its taxi ranks and bus stops.
- Key Corridor Improvements: This will involve investment in key corridors to improve the quality of transport infrastructure and public realm along these routes. This will help to smooth traffic flows and improve conditions for all road users;
- Transport Information Systems: Measures to provide users with better, more accurate information on the transport network, with the aim of increasing network efficiency. For example, variable message signs will direct car drivers to city centre car parks which have available capacity, while public transport users will be provided with real time information on services via mobile phones and at stop/station signs.
- Improved infrastructure for walking and cycling: This would involve enhancements designed to encourage more local trips on foot and by bike. The improvements to passenger facilities to Worcester's Foregate Street will be on the ground level and include upgrading of the waiting area, signage, information, shelters, lighting and security.