Long-standing plans to create a new train station in Bloxwich could become a reality following the electrification of the Walsall to Rugeley line, it emerged today.
Moves to relocate the station near to its original site by Croxstalls Road have been under review by Walsall Council for a number of years. It is now believed the £30 million electrification scheme would further bolster the case, resulting in a better location, improved security and park-and-ride facilities. Council chiefs said the electrification of the line makes the project more viable.
Electrification is expected to see extra passengers heading into Walsall on faster and more frequent trains. It could help push forward a better case to Network Rail to relocate Bloxwich station from Croxdene Avenue.
Head of strategic regeneration at the council Mark Lavender said: “This is still an aspiration of the council, although building a business case for the change is difficult when it is only served by one train per hour.
“This situation may improve once electrification and service improvements are completed.”
But the Government-backed move to speed up the line has not been without criticism due to proposals to close Bloxwich level crossing.
A petition has been launched by families in Dudley Fields amid fears it will lead to increased traffic in residential areas.
A bridge for pedestrians and cyclists is being proposed to replace the lost route as part of the scheme put forward by Network Rail and Walsall Council, while Central Drive bridge could be strengthened to cope with the extra traffic.
Walsall Council said initial responses to a consultation period had show support for the move but Bloxwich councillor Fred Westley said there were concerns by people living in the area.
He said: “There are grave concerns over the amount of traffic which will use the Dudley Fields Estate as a shortcut.”