Seven new West Midlands stations could help Games

PROPOSALS to build seven new stations in the Birmingham area have been identified by West Midlands Trains as part of its plans for the Commonwealth Games in four years from now.

As the Australian Games draw to a close, WMT has unveiled its plans to be a core part of the next games in Birmingham in 2022, aided by new trains, more electrification and station upgrades. These will include the rebuilding of Perry Barr, which will be the nearest station to the Alexander Stadium and the Athletes' Village. University will also be given a major upgrade, while the Cross City Line itself will have extra capacity.

The potential sites for new stations are Darlaston, Willenhall, Kings Heath, Moseley, Hazelwell, Merry Hill and the West Midlands Safari Park. All will depend on feasibility assessments.

WMT said it was working closely with Transport for West Midlands, West Midlands Combined Authority and Birmingham City Council to help with the writing of a transport strategy.

The operator’s customer experience director Richard Brooks said: “This is an incredibly exciting time for Birmingham and the West Midlands in general. People from across the world will be coming to our city to enjoy the Games and cheer on the athletes.

“Mobility is going to be central to the Games’ success and we want to make every possible effort to help people travel in and around the city and venues. The improvements we have planned in the run up to 2022 are going to transform rail travel in the West Midlands and we’re dedicated to offering visitors a service which is convenient, seamless and value for money.”

Transport is usually at the heart of international sporting events such as the Commonwealth Games. The 'carless' 2012 London Olympics were hailed as a global success partly because of the efficiency of public transport. The system included some built-in redundancy so that a problem on one route could be overcome by diverting passengers to another corridor.

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