THIS is what Worcestershire's £17 million parkway railway station will look like - with council chiefs releasing a series of images showing it off for the first time.

With a striking grand entrance, glass walk-through and acres of lush landscaping, it looks more like a leisure destination than a railway.

Worcestershire County Council is trying to drum up public support for the project before submitting a planning application, and has announced nine public exhibitions over the next three weeks to whet the appetite.

Your Worcester News can also reveal how bosses at County Hall have set an in-house target of May 2017 for getting the railway station, on land at Norton, up and running.

Councillor Simon Geraghty, deputy leader and cabinet member for economy, skills and infrastructure, said: " We are committed to making the plans for parkway a reality.

"We're doing everything we can to deliver this hugely important project, which has backing across the board from the Local Enterprise Partnership, our MPs, councils, the Chamber of Commerce and businesses by the summer of 2017.

"It's key to delivering economic growth and thousands of new jobs over the next 10 years.

"Ensuring the county is 'open for business' is our top priority.

"It's driving what we're doing and the parkway station plans are another example of our commitment to making things happen."

The Government has agreed to stump up £7.5 million for the facility, with the remaining £10 million coming from the county council.

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

The package includes a single platform on the Cotswold Line and two platforms on the Birmingham to Bristol Line, along with a new station building including a booking office, toilets and shops with access offered by stairs and lifts.

Once open, it would open up access to cross country lines currently inaccessible from Worcestershire, saving an estimated 5.4 million miles of car journeys to the Warwick parkway station and Birmingham.

The council also says it will allow trips to London in two hours or less, a saving of around 25 minutes, and offer hourly frequency to the capital.

The exhibitions are: The Hive, Worcester, 10am-1pm tomorrow, Evesham railway station, 4pm-7pm tomorrow, St Peter's Tesco, 4pm-7pm on Friday, Shrub Hill Railway Station, 4pm-7pm Wednesday October 8, Norton Parish Hall, 8am-4pm Monday October 13, Pershore Railway Station, 4pm-7pm Wednesday October 15, St Peter's Garden Centre, 10am-7pm Thursday, October 16, Pershore Town Hall 10am-1pm Tuesday October 21 and Foregate Street railway station 11am-3pm on Saturday October 18.

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