Parkway on track with contractor appointment

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.

Worcestershire Parkway forms part of the County Council’s Local Transport Plan and Worcester Transport Strategy and is pivotal to its ambitious growth plans to boost the County’s economic value to £2.9bn, creating 25,000 new jobs by 2025.

The scheme was given the stamp of approval by the Department for Transport at the end of January 2017. Once open, Worcestershire Parkway will enable passengers to use the County’s vital ‘North Cotswold’ rail link from Worcester to Oxford and London Paddington, as well as catch regular long-distance cross country services to Manchester, Nottingham, Bristol and Cardiff.

Located at Norton, just east of M5 Junction 7, the new 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.

The station will create an integrated hub between bus, road and cycle routes, reaffirming the importance of the improvements to the Southern Link Road and development of the Worcester Six Business Park.

Buckingham Group has a strong track-record for delivering complex rail projects, such as the re-development of Wakefield Westgate Station, Salford Crescent Station and the £110m London Luton airport transformation.

Councillor Ken Pollock, Worcestershire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Economy, Skills and Infrastructure, said: “Worcestershire Parkway is a major player in the county’s future economic prosperity, which is why we need a specialist contractor we can trust to deliver the scheme to time and budget.  Buckingham Group’s reputation and experience in the rail sector is evident and we are delighted to have them on board.

“For the county to thrive, we need to invest heavily in its infrastructure.  Improving transport links across the county is crucial to delivering our vision of creating a ‘World-Class Worcestershire’ by 2025 and Worcestershire Parkway is fundamental to this vision, along with the dualling of the Southern Link Road and development of Worcester Six business park.

“The business case for a new station is clear.  Worcestershire Parkway will provide around 500 car parking spaces, which will help alleviate existing parking issues at other local stations whilst improving congestion on local routes. The travel network at Worcestershire Parkway is in addition to the rail services available at other local stations and not a replacement.  It will give passengers additional options and is vital to accommodate economic growth”.

Marc Riley, Framework Director for Rail at Buckingham Group, said: “Buckingham Group has been delivering rail projects for over 20 years. Our experience includes a wide range of station redevelopments plus the delivery of high-profile, high-quality, “Gateway” Stations. The design and build contract for Worcestershire Parkway is an exciting project for the region and we are thrilled to have been appointed to deliver a scheme which will play such an integral part in Worcestershire’s future.”

Ian Walters, Managing Director at SLC Rail, commented: “The appointment of Buckingham Group sends a clear message that Worcestershire’s long held vision of a new station will soon become reality.”

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: “We welcome the appointment of Buckingham Group as contactor for Worcestershire Parkway Station and we are confident that they will be able to deliver the project smoothly for its opening in 2018.”