Transport boost for Sutton-based commuters

​Four Oaks expanded Park and Ride open for business.

Commuters can now take advantage of extra free parking at Four Oaks railway station with the opening of a new £2 million Park and Ride extension.

Centro, the region’s public transport delivery body, has completed the work in just under four months, increasing Park and Ride capacity at the station by almost 20%.

The scheme, which built a steel framed single-deck car park over one of the existing car parks, added 55 more spaces to the existing 275 at the busy station near Sutton Coldfield. The aim is to ease overcrowding at the Park and Ride facility – which proved so popular with commuters that it filled up well before the end of the morning rush hour.

Cllr Kath Hartley, vice-chair of the region’s Transport Delivery Committee, said: “The free parking spaces we provide at Four Oaks and other stations across the West Midlands have been hugely successful in attracting thousands of motorists to make the bulk of their daily commute by train. Park and Ride is extremely popular and spaces get snapped up very quickly each day.

“We are delighted with this trend and we want to keep encouraging more people to leave their cars and take the train, so we have been expanding these facilities wherever possible. Land availability can be a barrier to expansion but at Four Oaks we have got around that by building upwards. I would like to congratulate all concerned in designing the solution and getting the job completed so quickly. A job well done.”

The extra spaces will also help combat congestion and carbon emissions by taking a further 32,000 commuter car journeys off local roads each year. London Midland head of Cross City services, David Whitley, said “Passengers want their travel made simple. Park and Ride is a great way of improving journeys. The extra capacity this investment brings will be a great benefit to our passengers while taking more cars off the road.”

The scheme also included installation of low energy lighting, CCTV cameras and help points linked to the Network Safety and Security Centre.