Passengers using a busy Sandwell train station have been handed a boost after work started last week to extend its popular Park and Ride service.
Centro, the region’s transport authority, are spending £250,000 to add an extra 47 parking spaces at Dudley Port, more than doubling its capacity to 83.
High demand for the current facility led Centro to step in with taxpayers’ money to ease overcrowding at the station and reduce parking on the surrounding roads.
The spaces will be available in a new car park accessible from Park Lane East, which will be fitted with CCTV cameras and upgraded lighting.
Centro chairman, Councillor Angus Adams, said: “This is excellent news for rail users, commuters and the environment.
“Park and Ride has proved a very popular scheme and we are pleased to be able to continue this good work by providing even more spaces at Dudley Port. These new spaces will make a major difference in helping to tackle congestion and pollution.”
The new car park will be next to the current facility and will be linked by the existing footpath from Park Lane East.
As part of a wider project the footpath will undergo lighting and surfacing improvements.
The work, which is being carried out by contractor C A Blackwell, is scheduled for completion in the summer and passengers will be able to use the existing spaces throughout the extension.
Details of the extension will be on display at the station from this week.
Centro’s congestion-busting Park and Ride facilities have been a major success in helping to persuade motorists to make the bulk of their daily commute by rail and there are now more than 6,500 free spaces at Centro’s 53 heavy rail car parks and four of its Metro stops.
These spaces are calculated to take more than 53,000 journeys off the road each week, reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 6,200 tonnes a year.
Centro and its partners have invested £14 million in Park and Ride since 1997 and all of the car parks have been awarded Safer Parking Accreditation for achieving low levels of vehicle crime and anti-social behaviour.