A major phase in Wolverhampton’s £120 million Interchange project today got underway.
Work has begun on extending and refurbishing the railway station multi-storey car park to increase its capacity from 450 to more than 800 long stay parking spaces.
The redevelopment is being carried out by Ion Property Developments Limited and Balfour Beatty on behalf of the Wolverhampton Interchange Partnership, and is expected to be completed by Christmas 2016.
It will pave the way for the new state-of-the-art railway station to be built and the Metro line extension, which will include a new stop at the station.
Councillor Peter Bilson, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for City Assets, said: “As well as encouraging more investment and boosting prosperity in the city, the Interchange will become the gateway to the city for people arriving off the national rail network, by bus or Metro.
“Wolverhampton is one of the busiest railway stations in the Midlands, with Birmingham just a 17 minute journey away, Manchester 70 minutes and London 98 minutes.
“The start of works on the railway station car park is a major step forward and a very visible sign of this vital project becoming a reality and delivering the multi-million transport hub the city deserves.”
Steve Parry, Managing Director of Ion Property Developments Limited, added: “The construction of the extended car park and the new station forecourt is important as it will facilitate the construction of a new station building with much enhanced facilities for passengers and railway employees.”
The redevelopment of the car park will include cycle and motorcycle parking, short stay and passenger drop off, as well as a taxi rank built adjacent to the existing multi-storey, and the creation of a brand new entrance off Mill Street.
The entrance will be relocated to Mill Street to make way for the tram extension and allow Railway Drive to become more pedestrianised.
The medium-term ambition is to build a new hotel on the land between Railway Drive and the car park which would effectively wrap-around the existing frontage, creating a completely new view and a modern-looking gateway to the new railway station.
“Customers at Wolverhampton are going to see their station transform in the coming months,” commented Dave Whitehouse, Virgin Trains Station Manager Wolverhampton.