DELAYS and cancellations to train services have been slammed as "poor planning."

Great Western Railway services on the North Cotswold line, including Worcester, Pershore, Evesham, Honeybourne, Moreton-in-Marsh, Kingham and Charlbury stations have been hit by problems, with the company admitting that the service must improve urgently.

Harriett Baldwin, MP for West Worcestershire is particularly concerned about the service in Pershore, which she says has "really gone downhill."

She said: "It is clear that services to and from Pershore have really gone downhill in recent months, and anyone who uses this station will know how annoying it is to be faced with randomly irregular services.

“I am told that the delays are often down to the lack of drivers who have not been properly trained to drive the new trains – that’s just poor planning and poor management by Great Western Railways.

“The situation is made even worse by the fact that there really aren’t a lot of places to wait if a train is delayed or cancelled especially in bad weather and I hope to meet with Network Rail shortly to work out what we can do to make the experience better for local people.

“We need to make much better use of the station and I continue to back the Wychavon District Council plan to build a brand new car park connected by a new footbridge and hopefully a new café – adding extra capacity and better resources for rail users.

“With many more people now living and working in Pershore, we need to make sure people can make more use of the train station and help to take the pressure off the local road network.”

Mrs Baldwin met with Pershore’s mayor Bob Gillmor and the Vale Transport Group to discuss latest developments on the future of services for the town’s rail link.

The group reviewed a briefing on the recent service issues which have seen trains delayed or cancelled and discussed plans to try and improve the station car park capacity.

A spokesman for Great Western Railway said:“We know that recent performance on the North Cotswolds route has not been good enough and we are sorry.

"We have had some issues with driver training; this coupled with damage sustained by a small number of our remaining High Speed Train fleet, and some Network Rail infrastructure challenges has meant that we have had to make some hard choices to deliver the best service we can. This has meant we are running some services using our older turbo trains.

“We recognise the urgent need to improve this and are doing all we can to get back to time, by prioritising North Cotswolds services where possible, and to mitigate delays when they do occur. Passengers who have had a booked service cancelled will be entitled to compensation and we would urge them to get in touch.”