Plans to upgrade one of the West Midlands’ most outdated railway stations are being worked up as part of a £2.4 million scheme to improve passenger experience, access and transport links.

Dudley Port is already a major focus for transport investment with a new tram stop on the Wednesbury to Brierley Hill West Midlands Metro extension, currently under construction, alongside plans for high-quality walking, cycling, and public transport measures in the area. Together, these contribute to a future network of sustainable transport options for residents who want to use an alternative to the private car to get around.

Plans are now under development to create a Dudley Port Interchange Hub to make the railway station more welcoming, connect to the new Metro and further enhance road, bus, cycling and walking links, supporting the wider regeneration of the area.

The funding will also be used to kick off development of the business case for the full redevelopment of Dudley Port Railway Station – currently one of the region’s busiest without step-free access. This would then be used to lever in the substantial funding required to deliver a full redevelopment.

The interchange is set to include:

  • New lift and stair access from the Metro stop to the station entrance – being delivered as part of the Metro extension
  • Improved walking routes between bus, tram and rail
  • A much-improved walkway from Park Lane East to the station, including removal of steps on the existing footbridge
  • Enhanced lighting and CCTV coverage
  • Improved walking and cycling links from nearby residential areas
  • Improved landscaping, public spaces and passenger information signs transforming the environment of Station Drive
  • Enhanced live travel information boards for bus, rail and Metro
  • Electric vehicle charging points

These works are due to be completed by the end of 2024, ready for the launch of phase one of the Metro extension from Wednesbury to Dudley town centre.

A second phase of works, due for delivery by March 2027, will see additional high quality walking and cycling links to the station.

Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) and West Midlands Rail Executive are leading the scheme in partnership with Sandwell Council, Dudley Council, Black Country Transport Group, Network Rail, the Midland Metro Alliance and West Midlands Railway.

The £2.4m funding is drawn from the City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement awarded by the Department for Transport to TfWM, which is part of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), last year.

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands and WMCA chair, said:

“With the new Metro stop and a high-quality cycleway both in development to join the railway station at Dudley Port we’re making major investments in transport infrastructure to better connect local people and benefit the Black Country for many years to come.

“This interchange hub will draw these various transport modes together – providing a seamless link to get the tram or train regardless of whether residents arrive by bus, car, bike or on foot. All in all, our ambition is to fully transform Dudley Port railway station.

“Together, we can vastly improve access to public transport and active travel options at the same time as opening up leisure, investment and employment opportunities for local people for generations to come.”

Dudley Port station is on the Stour Valley line and will be the only rail and tram interchange on the new Metro extension. The frequent number 74 bus service offers direct links to Dudley, West Bromwich and Birmingham.

Councillor Peter Hughes, Sandwell council’s cabinet member for regeneration and WMCA, said:

“These improvements will really make a difference at Dudley Port, which is a key gateway to and from Sandwell. Not only will these changes make the station more welcoming for people, but they will also provide much better links for bus, cycling and walking in the local area and boost wider regeneration opportunities.”

Cllr Mike Bird, WMCA portfolio lead for transport and leader of Walsall Council said: “Dudley Port interchange is just one part of our unprecedented investment in sustainable transport across the region which is delivering improvements to our bus, rail, tram and active travel networks – supporting our communities and businesses and contributing to a fairer and greener West Midlands.”

Denise Wetton, Network Rail’s central route director, said:

“Joined-up public transport networks which meet the needs of all passengers are key to a successful and growing region. This investment will make a huge difference to people travelling to and from Dudley Port and I hope kick-starts further improvements to this key station in the West Midlands.”

As part of the next stage of development, a public consultation will take place to get people’s views on the proposals at Dudley Port. This will be used to inform the final options and designs.