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WMCA approves Wednesbury to Brierley Hill railway plans

Railway tracks / iStock-624925672

The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) has approved funding to build a rail link between Wednesbury and Brierley Hill, connecting Dudley with Birmingham, Wolverhampton and the national rail network.   

The project is estimated to create 2,000 new homes a year, almost one million square feet of prime commercial space and 34,000 permanent jobs. Estimates put the amount of council tax to be generated from the new homes at £580 million.

The aim is to provide improved connectivity to the DY5 business and innovation enterprise zone at Waterfront in Brierley Hill, as well as linking in with the planned multimillion-pound transport interchange in Dudley town centre.

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “The Wednesbury to Brierley Hill line will be a true game changer, bringing huge benefits to this part of the Black Country and acting as a catalyst for new housing, jobs and leisure opportunities.

“It will allow people to reach new employment sites – such as Castle Hill, the DY5 Enterprise Zone and Merry Hill. Forecasts predict it could lead to an almost 30 per cent increase in permanent jobs in this part of the Black Country. That’s good news for everyone.”

Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) has started a feasibility study to investigate what modes of transport will best link Brierley Hill to Stourbridge, for which Street has shown support.

He said: “I also welcome TfWM’s feasibility study, which will ensure we get the best possible public transport routes to link Brierley Hill to Stourbridge and other areas of the West Midlands.”

Work will begin later this year. Once completed, there will be up to 17 new stops along the 11 kilometres of track. It is claimed that the new system will reduce journey times by half compared with travelling by bus.

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