Worcestershire County Council’s plans for a major new railway station south-east of Worcester have been given the green light by the Department for Transport.
The approval from the Department for Transport enables the Council formally to award a contract for the construction of the station. Site preparation and final design works will get underway this winter with construction work to follow.
Worcestershire Parkway will make it easier for many more passengers to use the County’s vital ‘North Cotswold’ rail link from Worcester to Oxford and London Paddington. Worcestershire residents will also be able to catch regular long-distance cross country services which currently pass through the County on the Gloucester to Birmingham route without stopping.
The new station, located at Norton, just east of M5 Junction 7, will include 500 car park spaces for Worcestershire’s commuters.
The station will build on the Government’s investment in the brand new ‘Intercity Express Train’, which Great Western Railway will introduce on the North Cotswold Line by 2018.
Councillor Ken Pollock, Worcestershire County Council’s Cabinet Member with responsibility for Economy, Skills and Infrastructure, said: “This is really good news for Worcestershire. The new station will improve journey times for Worcestershire’s rail commuters, cut travel times to and from London and improve links to other major cities.
“Worcestershire Parkway is going to provide extra rail capacity for the county and importantly more car parking spaces for our train travellers. Given that Worcestershire already has one of the fastest growing economies in the country, the new Parkway station will help us to maintain that growth and open the county up to new markets.”
The majority of the budget for the scheme will be self-funded through station car park fees and access charges levied on the Train Operating Companies, along with £8.3m from the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership through the Government’s Growth Deal.
Gary Woodman, Chief Executive of Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “Worcestershire Parkway is essential for the region’s future prosperity. We are investing heavily in the local infrastructure through the Government’s Growth Deal, including £8.3m in Worcestershire Parkway Station. The Department for Transport’s decision to give Worcestershire Parkway the green light is great news and this improvement in connectivity provides yet another reason for businesses to relocate into the County.”