Villa Park expansion plan to see £30m train station redevelopment

Aston Villa have entered talks over a £30 million rebuild of Witton Station as part of stadium expansion plans.

A large queue outside Witton Station after Villa's game with Crystal Palace in May 2022.
A large queue outside Witton Station after Villa's game with Crystal Palace in May 2022.

The club have launched a consultation on the first phase of a long-term vision for Villa Park, which will see capacity increased above 50,000 and a new entertainment space on the North Stand car park.

And the Express & Star can reveal talks are underway over measures to solve long-running transport issues around the 125-year-old ground.

West Midlands Mayor Andy Street said improvements to train services were top of the agenda when he met with Villa CEO Christian Purslow this week.

He said discussions had started over a "full redevelopment" of Witton Station, which sits on the Birmingham-Walsall line, and a new walkway linking the station directly to the ground.

Transport chiefs are also looking at increasing the frequency of trains before and after games once the rebuild is complete, he said.

Villa fans have long complained about poor train services to and from Villa Park, with lengthy queues down Witton Road a common sight after games.

Mayor Andy Street with Villa CEO Christian Purslow (left) outside Villa Park

Mr Street said: "The plans Aston Villa have for the stadium and its surrounding area are inspiring and doable.

"As part of it there will need to be a full redevelopment of Witton Station. It's basically going to be a rebuild.

"Fans will know that getting to the ground from the station can be a pretty unpleasant experience, so any work will include new direct connections."

Mr Street said transport chiefs in the region were looking at increasing the frequency of trains once the rebuild is complete.

It is understood the proposed work would be similar in scope to what has happened at Perry Barr station, which reopened in May after a £30m rebuild which took a year to complete.

It would be funded through the West Midlands Combined Authority.

Mr Purslow addressed issues with the trains after chaotic scenes following the Brighton home game last November, saying there was an "urgent consideration" over transport in the club's expansion plans.

Neil Homer, a season ticket holder in the Holte End, said: "The trains are an absolute shambles. You can wait around queuing for two hours at Witton after some games.

"They need to make sure the trains are sorted out before they expand the ground's capacity."

In the consultation Villa fans are asked whether station and stop upgrades and "better queuing" would encourage them to use public transport more often.

Villa have previously committed to working with Transport for West Midlands and bus and rail operators to develop a long-term transport strategy around Villa Park.

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