HS2 will boost numbers at run-down Wolverhampton train station
Controversial high speed rail will lead to a 13 per cent surge in demand at a run-down West Midlands train station that has been turned down for a multi-million pound revamp, a report has revealed.
Wolverhampton is predicted to experience a rise in passenger numbers as a knock-on effect of the £50 billion line linking Birmingham and London.
The city council is giving HS2 its backing after claiming it would bring 'clear and demonstrable economic benefits to the West Midlands region'.
Council chiefs have drafted a letter of support for the scheme, prior to a consultation closing on January 24.
But they have stressed that the increase in visitors mean plans to improve the city's notorious train station must be supported.
Earlier this year a bid of £13.1 million funding to kickstart the rebuild of the station was refused.
In a letter to those behind HS2, Councillor Peter Bilson, regeneration chief, said: "Wolverhampton City Council supports the principle of developing a high speed rail network on the basis that it would provide a step-change improvement to the national rail network.
"There would be clear and demonstrable economic benefits to the West Midlands region by reducing travel times to London and the South East and it would have a consequent impact on expending the 'catchment area' of businesses."
Councillor Bilson said the main benefit would be freeing up space on the West Coast Main Line.
He added: "It is also important that government continues to support the Wolverhampton Interchange development which will deliver the access improvements to Wolverhampton railway station that are required to accommodate the additional trips likely to be generated as a result of HS2."
HS2 is expected to prompt an extra 105 trips to Wolverhampton train station during peak time in the morning and a further 89 extra trips during evening peak hour.
Bosses say this information can now be used to inform proposals to revamp Wolverhampton train station.
It comes as transport authority Centro is trying to get companies within the rail industry to back the rebuild.
Warnings have already been issued that HS2 could reduce services in the Black Country.
Tony Collins, chief executive of Virgin Trains, who lives in Sedgley, warned the new line could halve the number of West Coast Services, unless those trains were allowed to use the high speed line after Birmingham.
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