Express & Star

I'll look at case for connecting Black Country station to inter-city network, says Transport Secretary

A future Conservative government would 'look at the business case' for a new inter-city railway station at Dudley Port, to link up with the new tramline.

Transport Secretary Mark Harper with Conservative candidate Jane Stevenson

Transport Secretary Mark Harper told the Express & Star that the Conservatives would be open to upgrading rail services at Dudley Port station once the West Midlands Metro link from Wednesbury to Brierley Hill was up and running.

The first stage of the tram link, from Wednesbury, via Dudley Port station, to Dudley town centre, is due to open by the end of the year. A second stretch, from Dudley to Brierley Hill, via the Merry Hill shopping centre, will open at the 'earliest possible opportunity'.

At the moment, long-distance express rail services stop at Sandwell & Dudley station in Oldbury, 2.7 miles from the proposed tram connection.

Mr Harper, who was in Wolverhampton to promote Jane Stevenson's campaign to be re-elected as MP for Wolverhampton North East, said the Government had strongly backed the £650 million plan to extend the tram network.

"We're very supportive of tram projects, we've put a lot of money into that," he said.