A PLAN to bring rail passenger services between Stourbridge to Brierley Hill is on the lookout for funding opportunities. If given the green light, the Stourbridge Dasher would use the existing railway line to prove a light-rail service between Brierley Hill and Stourbridge Junction. The old railway line is currently used for freight trains. Pre Metro, the team behind the proposal, is now looking for alternative funding sources after the Department of Transport determined that the service was suitable for local funding sources rather than the national ‘Restoring Your Railway’ campaign. The campaign invited bids to reinstate axed local train services and restoration of closed stations across England and Wales. The group has recently received feedback from the Department of Transport that deemed the proposal compelling, with strong links in a regional context. Phil Evans, managing director at Pre-Metro, said: “We’ve proved VLR to be the most reliable, frequent, and value for money option for short passenger services – and schemes like ours will truly fulfil the aim of creating accessibility across Dudley. In light of the recent ‘Restoring Your Railway’ results, we want to let local residents know that the proposed passenger service between Stourbridge and Brierley Hill is still one of our major priorities. We would like to thank the DfT for their consideration and feedback of the project. We also want to thank Stourbridge MP Suzanne Webb for her continued support for the bid and for our existing Stourbridge Shuttle operations. We will now re-evaluate our funding plans and establish the next steps for this project with feedback from our supporters and local policy makers." The firm will likely look for support from the West Midlands Combined Authority. to support feasibility studies and establish a business case for the Dasher.
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