Wednesday 20 February 2013 Updated: 21/02 09:04
A BID to secure £7million in Government funding to create a new rail station on the edge of Worcester has been launched.
County council transport chiefs are hoping to turn the long-held dream of a new Worcestershire Parkway Rail Station at Norton into reality with a major slice of the £20million New Stations Fund.
The pot of cash has been set up by the Government to help build new stations in England and Wales which will benefit passengers and the economy.
The new Parkway station would be built at the intersection between the Worcester to London Cotswold Line and Bristol to Birmingham line, east of Worcester.
There would be a platform for the Cotswold Line - along with scope for a second in the future - and two more platforms on the Birmingham to Bristol Line.
Council chiefs say the funding would also pay for a staffed booking office, car parking for up to 500 vehicles, toilets, cycle parking and a bus drop-off and collection point.
A new junction on the B4084 would provide access for vehicles and a new footbridge would also be created.
If the bid is successful a planning application could be submitted as early as next spring and the station would be open to passengers by summer 2016.
Coun Simon Geraghty, the council's deputy leader and cabinet member for economy and infrastructure, said they would do everything to try and ensure the bid was successful.
"Ensuring Worcestershire is 'Open for Business' is a top priority and this part of the transport strategy has been identified as a key scheme that would bring great benefit to our economy by making our county more accessible," he added.
Mid Worcestershire MP Peter Luff - who has spearheaded calls for the new station - has written a letter supporting the bid, along with Worcester MP Robin Walker and West Worcestershire's Harriett Baldwin.
Mr Luff said he was pleased the county council was taking the new station so seriously.
"To have their support is an important step in bringing this project to reality," he said.
"But £7 million is a lot of money out of the pot available so I would urge an air of caution and say to people that it is not all doom and gloom if we do not get the funding first time around. I would estimate our chances are no better than evens.
"I am confident this station will get the go ahead before my time in Parliament is finished and will bring tremendous benefits to the area."
Mr Walker added: "Certainly I will be putting the case as strongly as possible to transport ministers because I think it is an excellent project and would make a real difference to not just Worcester but the whole of the county."
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