Chris Skilton with Andrew Mitchell MP.(Network Rail Image)
Passengers in the Sutton Coldfield area are to benefit from more than half a million pounds of investment to improve their local stations.
Representatives from the West Midlands rail industry met with Andrew Mitchell, MP for Sutton Coldfield, to update him on works to enhance railway stations in his constituency.
Mr Mitchell was told that at Butlers Lane, Network Rail is investing £1.2 million to refurbish the platforms and pedestrian routes. Likewise at Four Oaks, £564,000 is being spent by Network Rail to improve the platforms and walkways at the station.
London Midland is introducing a new early Sunday morning service on the line to Birmingham from 11 December and will also be spending £14,000 at Butlers Lane, Four Oaks, Sutton Coldfield and Wylde Green stations. This is to upgrade help information points, as well install new signage to improve accessibility.
Meanwhile at Sutton Coldfield and Wylde Green stations, Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) will be installing new LED lighting, and resurfacing the park and ride facilities. Collectively, this work will make these stations more welcoming for travelling passengers.
The investment is part of the national Railway Upgrade Plan to provide a bigger, better railway across Britain.
Andrew Mitchell MP said:
“It is good to learn that the West Midlands Rail Industry Partners are taking their responsibility towards stations in my constituency seriously.”
Martin Ball, area director for Network Rail, said:
“These enhancements at these much-used stations form part of our Railway Upgrade Plan and are designed to improve the travelling experiences for passengers. Significant investment is taking place across the rail network to provide passengers with an improving service and to meet the ever-increasing demands of the number of people who are travelling by train.”
Rob Hornsey, head of Cross City Services at London Midland said:
“ Our aim is to make travel as simple and easy as we can for all our passengers. The new earlier Sunday morning services have been planned based on what local people have said is important to them and reflects the changing ways people are using rail travel”
Cllr Roger Horton, lead member for rail and Metro on the WMCA’s transport delivery committee, said:
“The free park and ride spaces we provide at these stations and others have been hugely successful in attracting thousands of motorists to make the bulk of their daily commute by train.
“They make rail travel more convenient while helping to combat road congestion and pollution which is why we have been busy expanding and improving our Park and Ride facilities across the region.”