A NEW railway station in Hillmorton has been approved by Warwickshire County Council (WCC).
Councillors voted yesterday (Thursday October 8) to build the Rugby Parkway station on the A428 Crick Road, on vacant land in between existing housing and the Daventry International Rail Freight Terminal (DIRFT).
The station will connect to the Northampton loop of the West Coast Mainline and run two to three trains per hour to Birmingham, Northampton, the West Midlands, London and the rest of the UK.
Scheduled for completion as soon as December 2019, it will cost a total of just under £11m, and include northbound and southbound platforms, a connecting footbridge and a 260 space car park.
Plans for the station have been tabled to serve the new housing development at the old mast site, where up to 6,200 homes are being constructed over a 15-20 year period – with a potential increase in Rugby’s population of 15,000.
It would also serve commuters to and from DIRFT, which itself is undergoing an expansion.
Warwickshire County Council transport spokesman Coun Peter Butlin said there was much planned development in the area and that a new station “would take some of the pressure off the existing railway station”.
Jerry Roodhouse, Warwickshire County Councilor for Eastlands and Hillmorton, broadly welcomed the idea because it would help the environment by taking cars off the road – but he was concerned that new capacity and services would need to be introduced.
He said: “Quite clearly with over 6,000 houses arriving on that side of Rugby over the next 15 to 20 years, and the expansion of DIRFT, we’re going to have to look at capacity. MPs need to step up to the plate and support us to get this increased capacity.”
Stephanie Clifford, chair of the Rugby Rail Users Group, said it was a nice idea but worried it could slow down trains from Rugby to Northampton and Milton Keynes.
She said: “The West Coast Mainline is still full; that’s the whole reason the new HS2 line was proposed.
“If Rugby to Northampton trains are going to stop at the new station – well, they’re already full and the track is full. You need some sort of capacity increase to break that cycle.
“I think they should do it after HS2 opens.”
WCC will contribute £2m toward the project, with £4.9m coming from the government’s New Stations Fund and £3.9m from the Coventry & Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership Growth Deal.
The council will now begin bidding for the New Stations Fund. Work is initially scheduled to begin in May 2018.