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Plans to upgrade Witton Railway Station ahead of Euro 2028 tournament revealed

Thursday 21 December, 2023

The West Midlands Rail Executive (WMRE) has today unveiled new design images for a revamped Witton Railway Station as plans to overhaul the station take a significant step forward.

The designs have come from a feasibility study commissioned by WMRE, which has confirmed that a revamp of Witton Station is advised as Villa Park prepares to host Euro 2028 fixtures. With this study giving the initial green light, rail bosses will now press ahead with the business case as plans for the station gather pace.

Designs for a new pedestrian tunnel under the rail line at Station Road.

Designs for a new pedestrian tunnel under the rail line at Station Road.

Previously, despite the station’s poor state, a case for redevelopment has never been viable. Now, with more supporters travelling to Villa Park by rail than ever before and the stadium set to be a host venue for the Euro 2028 tournament, a more compelling case for investment can be made. It would also future proof the station should Aston Villa revisit their stadium expansion plans.

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands and chair of the WMRE, said: “Everyone who has ever tried to travel to Villa Park via the railway on a matchday knows just how unfit for purpose Witton Station is. With its narrow platforms combined with frequent overcrowding, it really does make for a miserable experience.

“This has been the case for some time, but a business case for redevelopment has never stacked up. But now - with the Euros just a few years away - we have the catalyst we need to make this long-awaited redevelopment happen. That's why today we're able to confirm that, following the feasibility study, we are now a significant step closer to redeveloping Witton Station."

Designs for the new platform at Witton station.

The proposed improvements to the station include new passenger ramps to both platforms to increase queuing capacity after matches, a new pedestrian and cyclist subway under the line at Station Road, wider and deeper platforms to allow more people to queue for longer trains, and replacing platform shelters with open canopies.

The next step is for WMRE and Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) to work with Aston Villa, Birmingham City Council, Network Rail, UEFA, and West Midlands Trains to build a strong business case.

A station was first opened at Witton in 1876 and later rebuilt. It now has narrow platforms, is poorly lit and unwelcoming and frequently overcrowded with fans queuing outside onto the main Witton Road following matches. Around 7,700 fans travel to matches by train using both Witton and Aston stations.

Other options - including a fleet of shuttle buses from Birmingham City Centre - were considered by WMRE’s study but ultimately dismissed in favour of the station upgrade.

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