Funding has been approved for a new railway station at Aldridge in the West Midlands.
Aldridge previously had a railway station on this site but was closed under the Beeching cuts of the 1960s. The station lies on the Sutton Park line which is currently only used by freight services. In the long term, there are plans to open more stations on this line.
The plan is for a new single-platform station on the edge of Aldridge town centre to open in 2027. Options for a park and ride car park are also being explored.
If the three-mile section of line between Walsall and Aldridge was electrified, there would be a half-hourly service direct to Walsall, taking just six minutes, and to Birmingham in 38 minutes. Before the line was electrified, a diesel shuttle service could operate but only to Walsall, where passengers would need to change for Birmingham and other destinations.
Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) has secured £150,000 of government funding to take forward plans to open the new station. The funding comes from the Department for Transport’s Restoring Our Railway programme. It will help to cover the cost of developing a business case, including the case for electrification of the line.
£30 million from the region’s City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement has already been set aside to cover the cost of construction. This new funding will allow the West Midlands Rail Executive (WMRE) to take the next step in the development process.
TfWM, which is part of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), and the WMRE have been working on the plans with Walsall Council for several years. Land for the proposed new station was purchased by the WMCA last year.
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands and chair of the WMCA, said: “It is fantastic news that we have secured this funding from the Department for Transport to progress our plans for Aldridge Station – thanks to the Restoring Your Railway programme.
“This funding is one of the final pieces in the jigsaw and will allow us to get this station built, providing the people of Aldridge with a faster and greener alternative to the car for their journeys to Walsall and Birmingham.
“A key part of my mayoral mission is to get much-needed and long-awaited new railway stations open – finally reversing the Beeching cuts of the last century – and with this news, we are demonstrating through results that we can and will succeed in offering local residents better and more sustainable transport links in the months and years ahead.”
Cllr Adrian Andrew, deputy leader of Walsall Council, said “This funding is great news. The new stations at Aldridge and at Darlaston will open up new opportunities for residents. Improving the rail infrastructure in Walsall is a boost for leisure and employment and makes the borough an increasingly attractive place for developers to invest.”