Development of two railway stations back on track after contractor takeover

The development of two new railway stations on the Walsall to Wolverhampton line can continue following a deal with a new contractor.

Ground preparation works on both the Willenhall and Darlaston railway station sites was paused last month after the main construction contractor Buckingham Group went into administration in August. Kier has since acquired the Group’s rail contracts.

Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), which is part of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), is leading the project and has reached agreement with Kier to continue the development.

When complete the new stations will give the communities of Willenhall and Darlaston direct access to the rail network for the first time since the 1960s, offering services to Walsall, Wolverhampton and Birmingham.

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands and WMCA Chair, said: “For Buckingham Group staff who were working on Willenhall and Darlaston stations, the last few weeks have understandably been a difficult time.

“That’s why it’s great news that we will see many of them back on site now that we have reached agreement with Kier. We wanted any pause or disruption in works to be kept to an absolute minimum and we worked closely with Kier to resolve this matter swiftly.

“Most importantly of all for residents right across our region, this means we can now get on with delivering these railway stations – providing the better transport connectivity that local people in Willenhall and Darlaston want to see.”

The project is being led by TfWM and the West Midlands Rail Executive in partnership with Walsall Council, West Midlands Railways, Network Rail and the Department for Transport.