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A - Z of Resident Services:

TN Transport Network


TN.1 Road

Worcestershire is well served by the motorway network, with the M5, M42 and M50 all running through the county, providing access to London, Birmingham (and the north), Wales and the South West. The A46 Trunk Road also runs through Worcestershire. These roads are all managed by the Highways Agency.

There are a number of other strategically important inter-urban highway links within the county which are managed by the County Council, i.e. the Principal Road Network (PRN), including the A38, A422, A449, A448, A4103, A44, A442, A456 and A435.,

Traffic congestion is a problem to a greater or lesser degree on all the motorway, trunk road and PRN networks. This problem will worsen (to a significant degree in certain locations such as Worcester) with the planned growth in development, unless there is significant investment in highways and other transport infrastructure and services.

Use of the car for short journeys is high in urban areas where greater use of alternative, more sustainable modes such as walk, cycle, passenger transport and high occupancy cars, would bring economic and environmental benefits through reduced congestion and carbon emissions. This highlights the need to integrate improvements to highway infrastructure with investment in other modes of transport such that the network as a whole operates more efficiently to the benefit of the Worcestershire economy and environment.


TN.2 Rail

The rail network has a vital role in providing Worcestershire businesses and residents with the rail links to markets and employment opportunities, particularly in Birmingham and the West Midlands, London and the South East as well as to international transport hubs such as Heathrow and Saint Pancras (for High Speed Rail). The rail services also provide access to Worcestershire and improving rail journey times and accessibility would make the County more attractive for inward investment and encourage growth in the leisure market.

Rail also provides for a number of key “within Worcestershire” inter-urban demand flows, in particular along the A449/A38 Corridor between Malvern, Worcester and Droitwich/Kidderminster and between Worcester and Cotswold Line destinations.

Rail is particularly important in terms of providing transport choice for journeys along key inter-urban corridors, for longer distance regional and inter-city journeys and for people without access to a car. As such the rail network is an important part of the “toolkit” to address inter-urban and urban congestion and environmental issues which in turn impact upon the performance of the Worcestershire economy.

Enhancements to rail service frequencies, journeys times, reliability and periods of operation are required to increase the convenience competitiveness of this mode of transport, particularly for journeys to/from Oxford, Reading, London, Bristol and Cardiff  and along the Malvern – Worcester – Droitwich – Bromsgrove – Birmingham corridor. Of particular importance is the proposed new regional "Worcestershire Parkway" station at the intersection between the Worcester – London and Bristol – Birmingham lines at Norton, east of Worcester, to be served by Worcester – London services and South West/South Wales - Bristol – Birmingham – North West/North East services. 


TN.3 Local Public Transport 

High quality urban public transport systems support the performance of the regional and national transport networks and strong economic performance. The urban and local public transport function in Worcestershire is supplied, primarily, by the local bus network. At present the local bus network carries approximately 17.5million passengers per annum (significantly more than rail, albeit for shorter distance “local” rather than longer distance regional or inter-city journeys). The local public transport network has a vital function in providing people with access to Worcestershire's employment, education, health, retail and leisure facilities and services. It also has a role in providing an alternative to the car for short distance journeys in urban areas with consequent positive impact on congestion, the economy, environment and accessibility.


TN.4 Walking & Cycling

An effective walking and cycling network is essential in order to give people, both in the urban and rural areas of Worcestershire, access to the opportunities and benefits that contribute to the enjoyment of a better quality of life. There is a need to take account of the potential economic impacts of exclusion from work, health, education, retail and leisure opportunities and services of those without access to a car in the event of an inadequate network. It is also important to offer those with access to a car a viable and realistic alternative for journeys to/from/across congested parts of the network where more efficient use of constrained capacity must be promoted to support the economy, environment and other socio-economic objectives. The quality of walk and cycle infrastructure, and how comprehensive the network is, will influence the role these modes play and their contribution to the functioning of a successful economy.


TN.5 Air

The nearest airport is Birmingham International, a 45 minute drive from Worcester. Coventry (1 hour), East Midlands (1 hour 20 minutes), Bristol (1 hour 30 minutes), Manchester (1 hour 50 minutes), and Cardiff (1 hour 55 minutes) are all accessible in under 2 hours while London Luton and London Heathrow are about 2 hours drive.

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This page was last reviewed 28 October 2013 at 10:00.
The page is next due for review 26 April 2015.