£7 million bid being made for Norton Parkway

Could Worcestershire get a new railway station?

Could Worcestershire get a new railway station?

First published in News
Last updated
Worcester News: Tom Edwards by , Political Reporter

3.30PM UPDATE:

AN AMBITIOUS £7 million bid is being made to build a new Worcestershire railway station, it has emerged.

The county council wants to make the long-awaited dream of Worcestershire Parkway a reality - and is going cap-in-hand to the Government for the money.

Bosses are going to bid for a slice of a £20 million ‘New Stations Fund’ being made available for the country’s best bids.

County Hall chiefs say £7 million would pay for a station facility on land at Norton, near Worcester, a booking office, 500 parking spaces, toilets, cycle parking and a bus service ‘drop and collect’ service.

If successful, it would mean Worcestershire can tap into more direct services to London, the South West, South Wales, Birmingham and beyond.

Transport chiefs also say it would allow the county to access many long distance cross country trains currently bypassing Worcestershire.

That includes Birmingham and Bristol inter city services which currently do not stop in Worcestershire despite passing through it.

It would provide a platform on the Cotswold line, provision for two further platforms for the Birmingham to Bristol line, and potential for a second Cotswold line platform if it is redoubled in the future.

If the bid is accepted a planning application would be made in April 2014 and the new station would open by the summer of 2016.

Norton Parkway has been an aim for political leaders in Worcestershire for at least 30 years, but this bid will be the first time a formal attempt has been made to get funds for it.

Last August the vision for the station took a major step forward when the Department for Transport said there was a “positive financial and economic case.”

Councillor Simon Geraghty, deputy leader and cabinet member for economy and infrastructure, said: "The Government's fund presents an opportunity to bid for the funding needed to build the station and everything will be done to push the case for it.”

Mid-Worcestershire MP Peter Luff, one of three county MPs to write a letter of support for the bid, said: “I am very strongly in favour of this - this really puts a marker down.

“The momentum behind this has grown to such an extent that Worcestershire Parkway will definitely happen, it’s just a question of when and not if.”

He said many commuters currently drive to Warwick Parkway and leave their cars overnight to head to Oxford or London because of a lack of parking at Foregate Street.

Worcester MP Robin Walker and West Worcestershire MP Harriett Baldwin have also sent letters of support for the bid.

Mr Walker said: “We all want to see this happen, it would be fantastic.”

Comments (11)

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7:06pm Tue 19 Feb 13

reflector says...

Let's hope it gets off the ground this time - I remember it first being mooted around 40 years ago.

However I am bit puzzled by the reported cost as the new Bromsgrove station was reported last month to be costed at £13 million. Although I assume this would include the electrification of the line to Barnt Green, the station itself would be three platforms just on the Birmingham to Bristol line. Worcester Parkway would be more complex with platforms not only on that line but on the Cotswold line also so I would expect it to cost rather more, not £6 million less.
Let's hope it gets off the ground this time - I remember it first being mooted around 40 years ago. However I am bit puzzled by the reported cost as the new Bromsgrove station was reported last month to be costed at £13 million. Although I assume this would include the electrification of the line to Barnt Green, the station itself would be three platforms just on the Birmingham to Bristol line. Worcester Parkway would be more complex with platforms not only on that line but on the Cotswold line also so I would expect it to cost rather more, not £6 million less. reflector
  • Score: 0

8:03pm Tue 19 Feb 13

Marrowman says...

I would guess that this bid is only for part of the funding required. I hope it succeeds, and I really wish the Worcester News would stop referring to it as Norton Parkway. Why would you want to name a major parkway station after a village?? It's like referring to Warwick Parkway as Hampton Magna Parkway (the nearby village...) it's just silly.
I would guess that this bid is only for part of the funding required. I hope it succeeds, and I really wish the Worcester News would stop referring to it as Norton Parkway. Why would you want to name a major parkway station after a village?? It's like referring to Warwick Parkway as Hampton Magna Parkway (the nearby village...) it's just silly. Marrowman
  • Score: 0

8:22pm Tue 19 Feb 13

CJH says...

Marrowman wrote:
I would guess that this bid is only for part of the funding required. I hope it succeeds, and I really wish the Worcester News would stop referring to it as Norton Parkway. Why would you want to name a major parkway station after a village?? It's like referring to Warwick Parkway as Hampton Magna Parkway (the nearby village...) it's just silly.
Well,,,it's at Norton, what else would you call it? And what's wrong with it being called after a village? Paddington and Marylebone were not much more than villages when their stations were built.
[quote][p][bold]Marrowman[/bold] wrote: I would guess that this bid is only for part of the funding required. I hope it succeeds, and I really wish the Worcester News would stop referring to it as Norton Parkway. Why would you want to name a major parkway station after a village?? It's like referring to Warwick Parkway as Hampton Magna Parkway (the nearby village...) it's just silly.[/p][/quote]Well,,,it's at Norton, what else would you call it? And what's wrong with it being called after a village? Paddington and Marylebone were not much more than villages when their stations were built. CJH
  • Score: 0

9:48pm Tue 19 Feb 13

MulsanneChap says...

Rather than spend money on a new out of town station which will not be as accessible as Shrub Hill or Foregate Street, and will require more reliance on cars to access, efforts should be made on encouraging the Cross Country services to stop at Shrub Hill, which can easily be accessed via Norton Junction and Stoke Prior Junction.

If extended journey times are an issue for the Cross Country operator, the line between Norton Junction and Shrub Hill could be upgraded for higher speeds while a new short spur linking the Cotswold Line to the northbound Birmingham-Bristol line could be constructed, all for probably less than a new station which won't have all operator's services stop at. Improve what we have rather than start from scratch with little benefit.
Rather than spend money on a new out of town station which will not be as accessible as Shrub Hill or Foregate Street, and will require more reliance on cars to access, efforts should be made on encouraging the Cross Country services to stop at Shrub Hill, which can easily be accessed via Norton Junction and Stoke Prior Junction. If extended journey times are an issue for the Cross Country operator, the line between Norton Junction and Shrub Hill could be upgraded for higher speeds while a new short spur linking the Cotswold Line to the northbound Birmingham-Bristol line could be constructed, all for probably less than a new station which won't have all operator's services stop at. Improve what we have rather than start from scratch with little benefit. MulsanneChap
  • Score: 0

9:57pm Tue 19 Feb 13

Malaky says...

I just want to get to London faster.

Which proposal will accomplish that for me?
I just want to get to London faster. Which proposal will accomplish that for me? Malaky
  • Score: 0

11:40pm Tue 19 Feb 13

mr_wilson15 says...

Can't the Birmingham-Bristol line cut through to Droitwich,then follow down to Shrub Hill, and route back onto the north-south line at Norton?? Is this such a problem? Does Worcester need a THIRD station within 4 miles?
Can't the Birmingham-Bristol line cut through to Droitwich,then follow down to Shrub Hill, and route back onto the north-south line at Norton?? Is this such a problem? Does Worcester need a THIRD station within 4 miles? mr_wilson15
  • Score: 1

9:07am Wed 20 Feb 13

cohenbk says...

When I first heard about this project I thought it was a fantastic idea, but the more I look into it, the less convinced I am.

Firstly look at crosscountry and the way in which they operate, they seem reluctant to stop anywhere on their mainline services, even if it means bypassing some busy stations e.g. Gloucester and Weston-Super-Mare, so I would imagine that few of their services would actually call at this station.

Secondly, there are far more useful station calls that should be added on the Birmingham-Bristol line:

Barnt Green to improve Redditch's connection to the railway network.

Bromsgrove to serve an underserved, large town.

Ashchurch to serve one of the worst served stations in the region which is the railhead for a fairly sized town.

Gloucester to serve an important city.

Thirdly, it would be an extra call for Cotswold line train to Oxford and London which already seem to stop at every hamlet, some have suggested that Shrub Hill close, but Shrub Hill is far more useful than Norton would be.

The council seem to overestimate the potential of park and ride schemes like this one (look at those white elephants at Perdiswell and Six Ways) and once you have driven from central Worcester to Norton you will have probably used up most of the time saved by faster services.

I would rather see some money spent on improving our current services and stations instead of this waste of money.
When I first heard about this project I thought it was a fantastic idea, but the more I look into it, the less convinced I am. Firstly look at crosscountry and the way in which they operate, they seem reluctant to stop anywhere on their mainline services, even if it means bypassing some busy stations e.g. Gloucester and Weston-Super-Mare, so I would imagine that few of their services would actually call at this station. Secondly, there are far more useful station calls that should be added on the Birmingham-Bristol line: Barnt Green to improve Redditch's connection to the railway network. Bromsgrove to serve an underserved, large town. Ashchurch to serve one of the worst served stations in the region which is the railhead for a fairly sized town. Gloucester to serve an important city. Thirdly, it would be an extra call for Cotswold line train to Oxford and London which already seem to stop at every hamlet, some have suggested that Shrub Hill close, but Shrub Hill is far more useful than Norton would be. The council seem to overestimate the potential of park and ride schemes like this one (look at those white elephants at Perdiswell and Six Ways) and once you have driven from central Worcester to Norton you will have probably used up most of the time saved by faster services. I would rather see some money spent on improving our current services and stations instead of this waste of money. cohenbk
  • Score: 2

11:59am Wed 20 Feb 13

Windy Miller says...

This will doom the Cotswolds Line. Passengers will be expected to travel to London via Birmingham or Cheltenham. Stop and consider the implications.
This will doom the Cotswolds Line. Passengers will be expected to travel to London via Birmingham or Cheltenham. Stop and consider the implications. Windy Miller
  • Score: 0

7:28pm Wed 20 Feb 13

Jason White says...

Cross Country Trains have already indicated an interest in Worcester Parkway and so have First Great Western. Worcester Parkway is also a sure bet to appear in the new franchise arrangements for the next CrossCountry franchise which starts in 2016. As for the Cotswold Line facing doom, what a load of nonsense. This new station will start a new era of travel for the Cotswold Line as direct connections and new travel opportunities will open up to long distance travellers who currently have to change at Birmingham New Street for Oxford. Full praise to the County Council for chasing these funds and I wish you success in your endeavours.
Cross Country Trains have already indicated an interest in Worcester Parkway and so have First Great Western. Worcester Parkway is also a sure bet to appear in the new franchise arrangements for the next CrossCountry franchise which starts in 2016. As for the Cotswold Line facing doom, what a load of nonsense. This new station will start a new era of travel for the Cotswold Line as direct connections and new travel opportunities will open up to long distance travellers who currently have to change at Birmingham New Street for Oxford. Full praise to the County Council for chasing these funds and I wish you success in your endeavours. Jason White
  • Score: -1

9:36pm Wed 20 Feb 13

thompson9100 says...

People also seem to have missed the mention of a bus service and cycle routes. I live in St Peters and as I'm relaint on public transport this would be a great opportunity. Not to mecntion the proposed development right on the edge of Norton of nearly 2500 homes. Now, that is forward thinking!
People also seem to have missed the mention of a bus service and cycle routes. I live in St Peters and as I'm relaint on public transport this would be a great opportunity. Not to mecntion the proposed development right on the edge of Norton of nearly 2500 homes. Now, that is forward thinking! thompson9100
  • Score: 0

12:16am Sat 23 Feb 13

DeBrian Thronker says...

2500 new homes sounds like a nightmare! Does Worcester really have the infrastructure to support that? Our roads are already clogged, our hospital waiting lists are already lengthy and our schools are already crowded. People who automatically assume that extra housing will benefit a city clearly haven't thought through all the implications that it will have. Every 1000 new homes is an extra 5 minutes of rush hour traffic!
2500 new homes sounds like a nightmare! Does Worcester really have the infrastructure to support that? Our roads are already clogged, our hospital waiting lists are already lengthy and our schools are already crowded. People who automatically assume that extra housing will benefit a city clearly haven't thought through all the implications that it will have. Every 1000 new homes is an extra 5 minutes of rush hour traffic! DeBrian Thronker
  • Score: 0

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