Multi-million plans to revamp Witton railway station next to Villa Park underway - update from Mayor

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West Midlands Mayor has issued an update on plans to update Witton train station near Villa Park as £100m redevelopment of North Stand at the stadium is delayed

Midlands mayor Andy Street has reaffirmed his and Aston Villa’s intentions to dramatically improve getting to and from Villa Park on match days.

The Premier League club has been forced to delay their huge £100m redevelopment of the North Stand – originally announced in 2021 – due to ongoing issues surrounding ‘chaotic’ transport links for supporters. Next summer, Villa will finally begin to increase capacity at Villa Park from 42,000 to beyond 50,000 by May 2026.

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Supporters, meanwhile, continue to bemoan the sheer amount of traffic in and around the vicinity of Villa Park pre and post-match while, on the trains, families have vented their anger at the lack of carriages and services, with fans waiting over an hour to board trains of an evening at Witton and Aston stations.

Now Mayor of the West Midlands, Mr Street, has explained how plans to revamp Witton station – viewed by club officials as the cornerstone to Villa’s grand stadium rebuild – are well underway, with a specialist team of expert transport consultants currently drawing up an action plan to develop the ‘ageing and overcrowded’ station into one that’s ‘suitable, modern and spacious’.

Witton Railway station near Villa Park in BirminghamWitton Railway station near Villa Park in Birmingham
Witton Railway station near Villa Park in Birmingham

The millions of pounds needed to redevelop Witton station, which first opened in 1876, will come via the Government-funded West Midlands Combined Authority who’ll seek support from the Department for Transport. Villa, meanwhile, will also find out next month (October 10) if they’re to host the European Championships in 2028, meaning funding will be needed to help transform Villa Park into a stadium that’s fit to host a major international tournament. Villa also has big plans to host more pop concerts and special events, while also improving community facilities locally.

Meanwhile, the West Midlands Rail Executive (WMRE) and Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) have now commissioned a study into transport options for an expanded Villa Park stadium – including a total revamp of Witton station.

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Independent expert transport consultants have continued to oversee the use of Witton station on match days this season and, later this autumn, will report back on likely costs and options for redevelopment of the elevated railway station as well as the wider transport requirements for the stadium. The consultants were given the task several weeks ago.

 Fans of Aston Villa watch the final of the Women's World Cup on a big screen outside the stadium prior to the Premier League match between Aston Villa and Everton FC at Villa Park on August 20, 2023 Fans of Aston Villa watch the final of the Women's World Cup on a big screen outside the stadium prior to the Premier League match between Aston Villa and Everton FC at Villa Park on August 20, 2023
Fans of Aston Villa watch the final of the Women's World Cup on a big screen outside the stadium prior to the Premier League match between Aston Villa and Everton FC at Villa Park on August 20, 2023

Speaking to the Local Democracy Reporting Service, Mr Street, who also chairs WMRE, said of his and Aston Villa’s ambitions: “These are exciting plans to expand Villa Park – for the many thousands of visitors on match days, for the local community and local businesses who will benefit from the facilities and for spectators who can enjoy what will be a top venue for concerts and special events.

“And something both myself and of course Villa fans sorely want to see is a suitably modern and spacious Witton railway station to replace the current inadequate provision that is unfit to properly serve match day crowds.

“That’s why we’re working on how best to redevelop the station by undertaking a feasibility study that will give us a clear indication of the funding required and the options ahead of us. This is just the first step as we will then need to put together a strong business case and find the money to make this happen but nonetheless it does bring us a step closer to delivering a premier railway station.”

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