Renewed calls for new rail station after major road accidents

Rail article

As reported in the Birmingham Mail extra edition of 1 January 2009, campaigners have renewed their calls for a new railway station in Birmingham in a the wake of major road closures around one of the city's iconic buildings and in the hope of preventing further delays.

Two major road accidents near Fort Dunlop on December 11 which caused emergency services to close the area during the morning rush hour have underlined existing calls for a rail link somewhere close by, to ease travel congestion for shoppers and workers.

The campaign has been led by Councillor Ann Holtom, the Liberal Democrat representative for Tyburn Ward. Cllr Holtom has organised a survey of local residents showing 98% support for the building of a new station.

Cllr Holtom said that "a new station at the Fort would provide a fast and efficient route for shoppers and workers to the busy Fort Shopping Centre. A rail link would also provide an easy travel option for workers at the new and fully occupied Fort Dunlop building."

Cllr Holtom has been campaigning with local residents like former station porter Neville Chinn for some time to find a replacement for the railway station at Castle Vale which was closed in 1968. In 2008, Centro developed a new strategy for rail improvements in the area and their studies have shown a demand for a dedicated service between Birmingham and Tamworth which could be adapted to provide the local rail facilities which residents need in the Fort and Castle Vale areas.

Meeting after rail storyCllr Holtom's campaign has also attracted the support of Liberal Democrat transport spokesman, Norman Baker MP who visited Castle Vale with Ann and Mr Chinn last year.