A DREAM dating back to the 1970s of a new railway station in the county has edged closer to fruition.

Proposals for the £17.5 million Worcestershire Parkway have been unanimously supported by the county council's cabinet.

The authority is now looking for views from members of the public about the plan for the station at Norton near Worcester.

At a cabinet meeting today (Wednesday, September 25) deputy leader Simon Geraghty urged his fellow councillors to ensure the plan becomes reality.

The station, which was first suggested in 1978, would aim to improve travel between Birmingham and Bristol, and from Worcester to Oxford and London.

Cllr Geraghty said: "I really believe Parkway's time has come.

"It's fundamentally important we seize this opportunity.

"This has probably been mooted longer than a couple of us [on the council] have been alive.

"We have a window of opportunity to seal this deal and I don't want anything to get in the way."

Conservative Councillor John Smith, who represents EveshamNorth West, said: "Not many things excite me, but this does.

"This is a big thing - not just for Worcester, but for Worcestershire."

Plans will need to be submitted by January next year to allow construction to start in December 2015.

If the council's timeline is kept to, the new station could be up and running by May 2017.

One of the key backers of the scheme is Mid-Worcestershire MP Sir Peter Luff, who has campaigned for the station for 25 years.

Earlier this year Government allocated £7.5million for the station after a bid through the Strategic Economic Plan (SEP).

The remaining £10 million will come from the county council.

Network Rail have worked closely with the authority on the proposals.

A 500-space car park forms part of the proposals, with the potential to increase the number of spaces to 1,000.

Council leader Councillor Adrian Hardman said: "It's part of trying to get the city in front of others instead of behind them."

Anyone wanting to comment on the scheme can pick up documents at The Hive from Wednesday, October 1.

People can also comment at worcestershire.gov.uk/parkway.

Public exhibitions are also planned, with the dates to be released in the near future.