MORE than £50 million is being invested in Worcestershire's rail network supporting the booming economy.

The money being invested will ensure the county, which has one of the fastest growing economies in the country, has better connectivity to the wider county.

The investment is also essential as figures show that the county will see a 97 per cent growth in passenger numbers on its rail network by 2043.

On some routes, including Worcester to London, it is expected to double current figures.

Improvement work costing £2 million has already been completed at Foregate Street, as well as Malvern Link, with attention now moving on to the ambitious Worcestershire Parkway new railway station at Norton.

Work is due to start this autumn with a construction target date of winter 2018, with it being fully open to the public in early 2019.

It is promised the new station will forge better links between Worcester and London, with a vision for two trains per hour, one being a fast express train and one a multi-stop train, from the county down to the capital as well as the station giving improved access to the South West, South East and the North.

Councillor Ken Pollock, cabinet member for economy and infrastructure at Worcestershire County Council, said: "We have a booming economy in Worcestershire and we fully expect the upward trend to continue.

"To allow for future growth, this county needs an improved rail network so that is why, alongside partners, we're investing into it.

"Better rail connectivity benefits not only residents but also businesses and improving connectivity is one of the county council's top priorities."