Consultation Launched For New West Midlands’ Freight Hub

There could be additional rail freight services in the West Midlands if proposals are given the go-ahead following a public consultation.

Designs for the West Midlands Interchange, which will have direct access to the West Coast Main Line and will be built across 615 acres in South Staffordshire, are set to be unveiled.

The development is being led by Consortium Four Ashes, and managing director Peter Frost said: “It’s the type of project that the region’s businesses and economic organisations have said they urgently need and it is supported by a national government policy to encourage freight movements off the roads and on to rail.”

The hub will be near Four Ashes station near junction 12 of the M6, helping to ease congestion on the motorway by boosting rail freight services in the UK.

It is being funded by property firm Grosvenor Group, who is intending to submit a planning development application for the project by autumn 2017.

Before then, events will be held at the Haling Dene Centre in Penkridge on June 30th, Coven Memorial Hall on July 8th and Calf Heath Village Hall on July 9th to gauge public opinion on the idea, before the consultation concludes on July 24th.

As well as reducing traffic and cutting pollution levels, the hub will create 8,500 local jobs for those in the area, including positions in warehouses used to handle the movement of goods.

The final decision will be made by the government, as opposed to South Staffordshire Council.

If the project is given the go-ahead, this will be another boost for the freight industry, as Network Rail recently announced plans to create a ‘virtual route’ to improve services for both freight and passenger operations.

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