Train passengers have been promised a £10 million-plus package of travel improvements in a bid to tempt more commuters from road to rail.
The pledge included:
An £8.5 million pot for park and ride schemes at Longbridge, Yardley Wood, Rowley Regis, Four Oaks, Kings Norton and Stourbridge Junction stations.
A £1.2 million plan to fit lifts at Acocks Green station – where passengers must currently negotiate 34 steps from the ticket office.
A promise to push for better services on the Chase Line from Birmingham to Rugeley in Staffordshire, via Walsall.
The plans, which also featured a pilot smart ticketing system and extra CCTV coverage, were contained in a renewed agreement between transport authority Centro and rail firm London Midland.
The travel company suffered a huge backlash over a driver shortage at the end of last year, which saw almost 1,000 trains cancelled or delayed between last October and December.
But the new two-year deal includes almost 50 commitments in a bid to improve services until the end of the company’s franchise to operate local services.
The bulk of the cash is being found by Centro, with London Midland and the Department for Transport also contributing.
Centro chairman Coun John McNicholas said: “We are delighted to be signing a new agreement that will see us work together to continue to create a more user friendly, accessible railway and contribute to greater standards of personal mobility.”
Patrick Verwer, London Midland managing director, said: “We are committed to improving services for our passengers and this agreement demonstrates a shared aspiration to improve public transport across the West Midlands.