First look at proposals for new-look Kidderminster railway station
Detailed plans to transform Kidderminster railway station into a landmark gateway to Worcestershire have been revealed.
The station is to undergo a dramatic redevelopment , including a new glass-fronted station twice the size of the existing building. Facilities will include a new café or shop, toilets and indoor seating and waiting areas.
The proposals were on display at an information session on the forecourt at the station on Wednesday 12 July 2017 where train users, residents and businesses were invited to comment and share their views artist impressions of the scheme.
Around 300 people shared their views during a day long information-sharing session hosted by the project team on the station forecourt. In addition, more than 20,000 Facebook users viewed the proposals while the scheme was also shared with readers of the Kidderminster Shuttle and the Kidderminster edition of the Express & Star newspapers. Both publications carried front page stories and images.
The vast majority of comments received are strongly in favour of the scheme.
The station, which has direct trains to the heart of London, Birmingham and Worcester, was used by 1.6 million people last year, with numbers predicted to rise 50% within five years.
Clearly marked waiting and taxi areas will be created in front of the station to make it safer for pedestrians.
The scheme also proposes significant improvements to nearby bus stop and a new pedestrian crossing close to the station on Comberton Hill.
Ken Pollock, Worcestershire County Council's Cabinet member for Economy and Infrastructure, said: "We have listened to the concerns of travellers about the inadequate facilities at Kidderminster. "It is the second busiest train station in the county and is a major gateway into Wyre Forest and beyond. "These proposals mean the station will better reflect our ambitions for the area as a place to live, work and visit and really improve the experience for the 1.6 million passengers now using the station each year."
The scheme is being led by Worcestershire County Council with support from Wyre Forest District Council, SLC Rail, Network Rail, London Midland, Chiltern Railways, the Severn Valley Railway, Kidderminster Railway Museum and local bus operators.
Funding has been made available from growth deals in place with the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) to the value of £1.8 million and through the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership to the value of £2.5 million – a total available investment of £4.3 million.
Gary Woodman, Chief Executive of Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “It is great to see that plans for the transformation of Kidderminster Railway Station have now been revealed.
“Worcestershire LEP has invested £2.5m into the improvements to the bus, rail and pedestrian interchange facilities, which will enable better transport links and connectivity for Kidderminster. This investment forms part of our wider plans to provide Worcestershire with a modernised transport infrastructure that enables businesses to continue to grow.”
Mike Lyons, GBSLEP Board Director said: “We are delighted that the Kidderminster Railway Station transformation plans have been unveiled.
"This is an excellent example of how neighbouring LEPs can work together successfully to support shared priorities for both their businesses and residents.
“Kidderminster is an important part of our economy, and this is a high priority project for GBSLEP.
"The improvements outlined will go a long way to improving connectivity and supporting economic growth for the area. We look forward to working with our colleagues at Wyre Forest District Council and the Worcestershire LEP to bring the scheme forward.”
Tenders will be invited from contractors with a view to project completion by summer 2019.