Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) and the West Midlands Rail Executive (WMRE) are to explore the feasibility and business cases for five new railway stations across the region.
The five proposed stations: Balsall Heath, Coventry East (Binley), Foleshill, Castle Bromwich and Tettenhall have been selected from a long list of 15 following an initial feasibility study. They were identified as those with the strongest case for development first.
It follows the award of funding from the West Midlands City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement (CRSTS) to investigate and plan the next phase of station development.
Once complete these business cases could be used to secure further Government funding to design and build the new stations.
Delivery of some of the new stations is also linked to the completion of HS2 which will free up capacity for more local services on existing rail lines, as well as completion of the Midland Rail Hub project to increase rail network capacity into central Birmingham.
Three of the new stations need to be planned now so they can be built and ready to open alongside Midlands Rail Hub and HS2.
TfWM, which is part of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), and the WMRE are already overseeing the growth of the rail network in the region with construction work currently under way on five new stations – three on the Camp Hill line in south Birmingham at Moseley Village, Kings Heath and Pineapple Road, and two on the Walsall to Wolverhampton line serving Darlaston and Willenhall. Funding has also been allocated, subject to business case, to build a new station at Aldridge.
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands and WMRE Chair, said: “New stations are taking shape across Birmingham and the Black Country – with diggers in the ground after our success in securing funding.
“Alongside these projects now underway, we’re turning our attention to the next set of stations and these five are a good place to start.
“Investing in rail stations is Levelling Up in action – helping to regenerate local areas, offer a convenient alternative to the car and driving job creation.”
The initial assessment of the five stations covered:
- Balsall Heath on the Camp Hill line in Birmingham. This would require construction of the Bordesley Chords and extra capacity at Moor Street Station as currently proposed by the Midlands Rail Hub project
- Coventry East (Binley) – on the main line between Coventry and Rugby which will benefit from greater capacity for local services following completion of HS2
- Foleshill – on the Coventry-Nuneaton line
- Castle Bromwich – east of Birmingham which would also benefit from the greater capacity into central Birmingham provided by Midlands Rail Hub
- Tettenhall – west of Wolverhampton on the line to Shrewsbury
Cllr Ian Ward, WMCA portfolio holder for transport and leader of Birmingham City Council, added: “Our rail station developments proposals are about both growing our local economy, better connecting people to job and leisure opportunities and assisting our move towards a net zero carbon region.
“And these stations are the ones that most match these aims and, although it may take time to deliver, we are starting the planning now so when the funding becomes available we are ready to go with a sound plan of action.
“But while these will take time, we are carrying on with delivering £1.3 billion investment in our road, rail, bus, tram, cycling and walking infrastructure over the next few years – including building and opening new stations on the Camp Hill line and Walsall to Wolverhampton line.”
Of those stations long listed those on the Sutton Park line were put on hold as they require further assessment as well as the development of the Midlands Rail Hub, especially the Bordesley Chords to allow extra rail services into Moor Street Station in Birmingham city centre.
TfWM and the WMRE continue, with partners including Midlands Connect, to lobby Government for the Midlands Rail Hub to be funded and delivered in full.
The City of Wolverhampton, South Staffordshire District and Staffordshire County councils have also looked at the case for a new station at Brinsford, to serve new developments near the M54. As this is close to the proposed Tettenhall Station business cases for the two stations will be considered together.