THE heavily delayed new multi-million pound Worcestershire Parkway Railway Station will not be open until the new year, the Worcester News can reveal.

At a briefing in October the media were told only the final touches were left to do to the station and it was on course to open when Network Rail train timetable changes come into force this Sunday.

And, on Monday, a special showcase event for business representatives was held at the station that is based on the edge of the city.

But a spokesperson for Worcestershire County Council, who stressed no official date opening date was ever set, said: “Worcestershire County Council and its rail industry partners have agreed that the best time for the new station to become fully operational is early next year and the opening date for this will be confirmed as soon as possible.”

There had been some further confusion as rail ticket sellers had shown trains to be running next week.

On Monday, Great Western Railway (GWR) showed a train running at 9.10pm from the station to London Paddington on December 16, while Network Rail also showed the same train running on its app.

The Worcester News has also learned GWR has being writing to customers who had pre-booked tickets for the station, apologising for the delay saying: "I’m sorry this will affect your plans to travel to/from the station this month.

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"We are nearing the conclusion of the standard rigorous rail industry “Entry into Service” process where all the new equipment and facilities are tested and commissioned.

"This process is complex involving a wide range of stakeholders and it will not be possible to achieve the final sign-off for the station to become operational until early in the new year."

A GWR spokesman also sent us the same comment as Worcestershire County Council's, confirming the new date would be confirmed "as soon as possible".

When asked if he was disappointed by the latest delay Councillor Ken Pollock, the county council's cabinet member with responsibility for economy and infrastructure, declined to comment on the delay, adding the station was completely finished, but was just waiting approval.

The much-delayed project was first revealed more than a decade ago. Planning permission was granted in August 2015 and work was expected to start in 2016. The building of the station finally stated in early 2018 and the council said the station would be built by early 2019 and then changed it the summer.

Once up-and-running passengers will be able to use GWR trains at the station between Hereford, Worcester, Oxford and London Paddington as well as CrossCountry Trains between Cardiff and Nottingham.

Frustrated rail user, Graham Taylor, said: "The county council and Network Rail have got to get on and deliver this project as soon as possible. "There has been unacceptable delays and it is about time this crucial piece of the rail network was in place."