Busy rail station to get more free parking

Welcome news for Black Country commuters.

Commuters using Stourbridge Junction rail station are to get more free parking thanks to a £900,000 Park and Ride extension.

Centro, the region’s public transport co-ordinator, has started work on adding a further 223 spaces to the existing 789. The extension is being carried out to ease overcrowding at the Park and Ride facility which has proved so popular with commuters that it is often full before the end of the morning rush hour.

The extra spaces will also help combat congestion and carbon emissions by taking a further 133,000 commuter car journeys off local roads each year. Cllr Roger Horton, Centro’s lead member for rail and Metro, said: “Our free Park and Ride sites , like this one at Stourbridge, play a key role in encouraging thousands of motorists to make the bulk of their daily commute by train.

“But the fact that they are convenient and free means many fill up very quickly each day. That’s why we have been investing heavily in expanding such facilities where there is land available next to stations.”

The Park and Ride extension will feature low energy lighting, CCTV cameras, a covered walkway along the length of the new car park and help points linked to the Network Safety and Security Centre. There will also be electric vehicle charging points located near to the station building.

Brenda Lawrence, London Midland’s head of route for Snow Hill lines, said: “Demand for rail travel continues to grow and we’re committed to doing all we can to improve the journey experience for our passengers.

“Free Park and Ride facilities have proven to be hugely successful along the Snow Hill route and I’m delighted we’re expanding the car park for Stourbridge residents through our partnership with Centro.”

Cllr Mohammed Hanif, Centro’s lead member for Dudley, added: “This work is not only good news for commuters but also for residents in the surrounding streets. They have told me how they have been inconvenienced by commuters parking outside their homes so this extension should help address that issue.”

Centro and its partners have invested more than £15 million in Park and Ride facilities since 1997 to provide more than 7,331 free spaces at 53 heavy rail car parks and four Metro tram stops across the region.

These spaces are calculated to take around three million journeys off the region’s roads each year, reducing carbon dioxide emissions by more than 6,000 tonnes.

Front page pic: Cllr Roger Horton, Brenda Lawrence and Cllr Mohammed Hanif get work on the new Park and Ride extension underway.