The proposed axeing of a rail line between Walsall and Wolverhampton could threaten a £600 million Black Country regeneration scheme, it has been claimed.
Walsall Regeneration Company has condemned the Strategic Rail Authority plan - first revealed in The Birmingham Post - as a potentially major blow to the town and to plans for massive redevelopment at Darlaston.
The 120 hectares of prime industrial land at Darlaston, straddling the M6, have the potential to generate 15,000 new jobs, said WRC chairman Ben Reid, who is tasked with attracting £600 million of investment over the next decade into the project.
"This site, which is central between Walsall and Wolverhampton, is nationally important. It will generate significant traffic through employment creation over the next few years."
WRC chief executive Peter Cromar said the company recognised that the West Midlands Passenger Transport Authority - the region's transport policy-setting body - would be arguing for resources to be diverted to upgrade the reliability of the Hednesford to Birmingham rail line.
However, he said: "We would clearly support upgrading that service, but rail connectivity is essential to the future prosperity of Walsall.
"The link to Birmingham is important, that's obvious, but it must not be at the expense of connections between Walsall and Wolverhampton."
Dr Cromar added the WRC would be responding formally to the SRA during a 12-week consultation process.