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New Aldridge Railway Station moves step closer after scheme backed

By Richard Guttridge | Aldridge | Transport | Published:

A long-awaited plan to reopen Aldridge railway station has moved closer to becoming reality after the project was backed by experts.

Aldridge Station was closed more than 50 years ago

Mayor Andy Street is leading the push to re-open the station, as well as others at Darlaston and Willenhall which were closed more than 50 years ago.

And the scheme has been handed a major boost, with the West Midlands Rail Executive (WMRE) confirming the plan to re-open the station is viable.

The WMRE will now draw up a business case for the station to try and secure the £10m funding needed to take the project to the next stage. Officials will also begin working on a timetable to allow Aldridge station to fit into the existing rail network.

It is hoped two trains an hour could run from Wolverhampton to Aldridge, via Birmingham New Street and Walsall, serving half a million passengers a year.

West Midlands Mayor Mr Street has worked closely with Aldridge-Brownhills MP Wendy Morton on the plans, and wants trains to serve Aldridge as part of the current Wolverhampton to Walsall line, which is also set to include new stations at Darlaston and Willenhall.

The stations were closed by the Government in 1965.

Junction of Cemetery Road and Kendricks Road, Darlaston, where the town's new train station would be created

Mr Street said: “I am absolutely delighted that the feasibility study has come back positive on our plans for Aldridge station, meaning we can now press ahead with getting it built and open as soon as possible.

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"The station is one of a number across the West Midlands that were closed as part of the Beeching cuts, which I am determined to re-open.

"Alongside Aldridge we have Darlaston and Willenhall, which will be the first to open in the Black Country as part of the Walsall to Wolverhampton line re-opening to passengers, and I am also exploring the prospect of having a new station at Tettenhall as well.

"New and re-opened stations not only provide better transport links but they also help to drive significant economic growth.

"As part of my role as West Midlands Mayor I will continue to explore the option of re-opening more stations across the region.”

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A design of the proposed Darlaston station

Ms Morton, who was recently re-elected and has long campaigned for a station at Aldridge, said: “The issue of the much-loved Aldridge station, which was permanently closed in 1965, is one that regularly comes up when chatting with residents.

“I am therefore incredibly pleased that, by working closely with Andy, that the wishes of the residents of Aldridge are now starting to become a reality, with this study conducted by the WMRE confirming that plans for a station are viable.

“I believe this station will add much-needed connectivity to Aldridge, boosting the local economy and adding another crucial transport option. I will continue to work with the Mayor to make sure the new station is delivered as soon as possible.”

Alongside the platforms, early plans for Aldridge station include a 150-space car park.

Richard Guttridge

By Richard Guttridge
Investigations Editor - @RichG_star

Investigations Editor for the Express & Star.

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