Rail users could face higher parking charges in a bid to reduce over-crowding on West Midland trains.
The Strategic Rail Authority plans to increase fees at station car parks at peak times to encourage commuters to leave before the rush hour. The proposal is part of a package of measures which could also include cheaper rail fares in periods when trains are less used.
Trains could also gain extra carriages, with platforms lengthened at a number of stations to accommodate them.
And a new direct service between Shrewsbury and London is to be added.
But the Wolverhampton to Walsall, Stoke to Stafford and Stafford to Nuneaton services are to be axed, because of low demand. A coach service will replace the Wolver-hampton to Walsall line.
The proposals are part of the West Midlands Route Utilisation Strategy, published by the Strategic Rail Authority and approved by Secretary of State for Transport Alistair Darling. This sets out the future of the region?s rail network up to 2011.
The strategy warns that rail usage in the West Midlands has grown by 44 per cent over the past ten years. Demand is set to rise, partly as a result of developments in Birmingham including the Bull-ring, and the planned renovation of Arena Central and Paradise Circus.
The strategy warned: ?Passenger demand is rising, especially in the Birmingham peak, but additional peak train paths are extremely limited.? It said: ?The SRA believes that a package of changes with a ?carrot and stick? approach to spread peak demand, and hence letting more efficient use be made of existing capacity, has considerable merit.?
Fares could be adjusted to ?smooth the peak?, for example by reducing ?very early morning? fares or cutting ticket prices for journeys completed before rush hour, the strategy said. At the same time, charges could be introduced at stations where parking is currently free.
?Car parking entry could be free up until the time trains to central Birmingham become crowded, after which a parking fee may be payable until the crowded period has passed.?