At last! New Willenhall Railway Station plan backed after years of campaigning

Willenhall is finally in line to get a new railway station as part of a £4 billion transport plan.

The West Midlands Combined Authority wants to bring rail routes back into public use
The West Midlands Combined Authority wants to bring rail routes back into public use

The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) is set to unveil proposals for a station at the site of the town's old station on Bilston Street.

It will operate as part of the Walsall to Wolverhampton line, and forms part of West Midlands Mayor Andy Street's plans to bring defunct rail routes back into public use.

The move brings to an end years of wrangling over a new station for the town, which has been proposed on numerous occasions since the original one closed in 1965.

It has been welcomed by Walsall North's Conservative MP Eddie Hughes, who said: "This is great news for so many reasons.

"We might not necessarily have the jobs or be creating jobs in Walsall, but providing they have got good transport and housing then they can live in Walsall and get to where those jobs are.

"We also have HS2 on the horizon. Anything that improves communication and transport in the region to allow people from Walsall to get to work is a very good thing."

In 2012, a proposal was unveiled for a £4m station with two platforms and car park on Bilston Street, but the plans fell through.

Last year Walsall Council and Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), the WMCA's transport arm, submitted a bid for Government funding for a new station.

However, the bid was turned down by the Department for Transport (DfT).

Councillor Roger Lawrence, the leader of Wolverhampton council and the WMCA's lead member for transport, said: "We are trying to emphasise the importance of the Wolverhampton to Walsall corridor link."

Currently, the Walsall to Wolverhampton line does not have regular scheduled passenger services, meaning train users between both places must travel in and out of Birmingham New Street.

Mr Street has also pledged to get the Stourbridge to Walsall line back up and running as part of wide ranging congestion-busting plans.

They also include a Midland Metro tram line between Brierley Hill and Wednesbury, and the reopening of the Darlaston James Bridge railway station.

Around £4bn of transport infrastructure is planned for the region over the coming decade.

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