West Midlands

Contractor appointed to deliver Worcestershire Parkway

Worcestershire County Council is forging ahead with its plans for Worcestershire Parkway Regional Interchange Station, with the recent appointment of a specialist rail contractor to deliver the scheme.

Buckingham Group Contracting Ltd, which has over 60 years’ experience as a multi-disciplinary contractor, has been awarded the design and build contract with site preparation and final design work planned for this winter. They will be working alongside SLC Rail, who are project managing the scheme on behalf of the Council.

Clearance work begins on Brierley Hill extension

Work to progress the proposed extension of the Midland Metro from Wednesbury to Brierley Hill is due to commence this week.

The Midland Metro Alliance (MMA), working on behalf of West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), will begin to clear vegetation from overgrown areas of the disused former South Staffordshire Railway line in order to carry out comprehensive structural and environmental surveys.

It is anticipated the construction of the route will begin during 2019 and that the route will open for passenger service in 2023.

The Wednesbury to Brierley Hill extension will be 11 kilometres (6.8 miles) long and have 17 stops, including 4 provisional stops.

The route will branch off from the existing east of the existing depot at Wednesbury and go via Dudley town centre, Merry Hill and the terminus at Brierley Hill.

The vegetation clearance process should take approximately two weeks and all residents and businesses who may be directly affected by the works have been informed they are taking place.

Councillor Roger Lawrence, lead member for transport for the WMCA, said: “Whilst this is not the formal start of work on the extension it is the first step towards it.

“There is a lot of work still to be done but once it is complete the Black Country and wider region will reap the economic rewards of having an extended modern tram system running through it.”

Feasibility study backs Galley Common railway station

A new railway station in West Nuneaton has moved a step closer to reality after a feasibility study by Warwickshire County Council revealed a positive business case for the project. The business case has suggested a BCR of 1:3.43.

The study found that a new Galley Common/Stockingford station would bring considerable business and environmental benefits to the area. It would be located on the Nuneaton to Birmingham line.

The station, which could open as early as 2023, would significantly ease road congestion in the area, resulting in an estimated saving of 520,000 road vehicle kilometres/year by 2023, rising to 1.5 million kilometres/year by 2029. Total passenger journeys per annum are estimated to be 56,339 by 2023 and 166,611 by 2046

A former station, known as Stockingford, was located in the area, adjacent to the Whittleford Road overbridge, before closing in March 1968. The new station would consist of northbound and southbound platforms linked by a footbridge; pedestrian and cycle links to Kingswood Road and Whittleford Road and a car park.

The timescales for opening are constrained by capacity issues on the route and the lack of rolling stock. If further investment is supported, the GRIP3 would occur by 2020/21. The station is currently estimates to cost £11.4m at 2016 prices.

Kenilworth opening date delayed

The opening date for the proposed railway station at Kenilworth has been delayed from August 2016 to the timetable change in December 2016 due to delays encountered delivering track and signalling works that will facilitate rail services serving the new railway station. The railway station is expected to be completed by August 2016.

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Two railway stations proposed in Worcestershire plan

Two conceptual railway stations have been proposed in the proposed local transport plan out for consultation.

One scheme could involve the development of a new station to the north of the A449 in the vicinity of Fernhill Heath. This station would provide parkway facilities for north Worcester, improving access to rail for strategic park and ride opportunities.

A second scheme could involve the development of a new station in the vicinity of Rushwick, close to the A4440. This station would provide parkway facilities for west Worcester, improving access to rail for strategic park and ride opportunities.

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