Updated: Feb 26
Stourbridge's MP and the West Midlands Mayor have announced plans for a multi-million pound bid for a new passenger train service from Stourbridge to Brierley Hill.
Suzanne Webb MP met with West Midlands Mayor Andy Street this week to discuss a potential £16 million project to create a Stourbridge Dasher service on an existing branch line that runs between Stourbridge Junction and Brierley Hill. The old railway line is currently used for freight trains. Conservative MP Ms Webb is spearheading a proposal for the project in the hope of scooping cash from the government's Restoring Your Railway Fund which has invited bids to reinstate axed local train services and restoration of closed stations across England and Wales. She said: "This is an exciting project very much fitting in with the government’s levelling up agenda and one that will bring investment and jobs to Stourbridge as well as much better public transport links into the wider West Midlands. Although the scheme did not receive a round one allocation from the fund, it is very much in the Department of Transport’s thoughts and we have been asked to submit more information. I will be pushing for ministers to make the money available and I thank Andy for his continued support and his desire to see much better rail links in this part of the West Midlands.” Andy Street said: “At the moment, the track between Stourbridge Junction and Brierley Hill is only used for freight traffic, but crucially it is a dual track – which means there is capacity to introduce passenger services too, relatively simply. My transport plan for the region is determined to reopen lines and stations that have been closed for decades, and we are making real progress – we know what needs to be done to make these things happen. I think that the Stourbridge Dasher could well be one of the next new services to come down the line as a result of our ambitions to create a world-class transport system for the region – which of course also includes extending the Metro to Brierley Hill.” Steve Jasper, director of operations for the Stourbridge branch line, said of the proposal: "We've identified a number of intermediate station stops which we feel would be of great use to people between here and the terminus at Brierley Hill, and it ticks all the boxes of economic regeneration, ease of travel and takes traffic off a very, very busy section of road between Stourbridge and Brierley Hill so for us it seems a very simple and achievable solution that could be done, in all reality, quite quickly." If given the greenlight, the project would also potentially link to the Metro which is currently being extended to Brierley Hill and Dudley from Wednesbury.