Many of you will know where the old Tettenhall railway station is. Today it is home to Cupcake Lane cafe with the nearby former goods shed hosting the Tettenhall Transport Heritage Centre. Recently, South Staffordshire MP and Secretary of State for Education, Gavin Williamson, has called for a new Tettenhall railway station. The MP claims it would bring ‘many economic benefits’ to the area.
A new railway station at Tettenhall would not be near the Tettenhall village area. The former railway station at Tettenhall is situated off Henwood Road in an area that is today part of the Smestow Valley Local Nature Reserve. The line here closed to passengers in 1932. A station in the Tettenhall area would have to be situated on the existing line between Wolverhampton and Bilbrook. The proposed new station has been backed by prospective MP for Wolverhampton South West, Stuart Anderson and Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street. Letters were posted in the local area in an attempt to discover what sort of support a new station would have.
Where could a new Tettenhall railway station be located?
There are at least two possible locations for a new Tettenhall railway station, though both call into question the use of the Tettenhall name as they would be over a mile from Tettenhall village. The first potential spot is the one that has been used by Stuart Anderson and Andy Street in promotional photographs. This is near the bridge over the railway line at Barnhurst Lane / Pendeford Avenue, close to Aldersley High School. There is space for a small station here, if it was similar to the two platforms at nearby Bilbrook. A station here would be 1.20 miles along the track from Bilbrook Railway Station and approximately 2.67 miles from Wolverhampton Railway Station. It would serve the area well, with an immediate catchment area including Claregate to the south, Palmers Cross to the west and Barnhurst (Dovecotes estate) to the north.
Another possibility is near the bridge that separates Oxley Moor Road and Aldersley Road at Blakeley Green. There is a field to the south of the bridge that forms the northern boundary of Aldersley Leisure Village.This land is likely owned by City of Wolverhampton Council. A station here would be approximately 2.15 miles from Wolverhampton Railway Station and 1.74 miles from Bilbrook Railway Station. This would be closer to a central distance between the two. There is good space here for a car park and there are less properties in the immediate area. This might mean less chance of objections should a station reach the planning stage. A station here would also link well to the Stafford Road and Oxley / Bushbury area.
The two possible locations aren’t far from each other – only around 857 metres in a straight line.
Would ‘Tettenhall Railway Station’ be an appropriate name?
Something that has been raised on social media is whether the station should be called ‘Tettenhall’. The line between Wolverhampton and Bilbrook runs well over a mile away from Tettenhall village. This question about possible names was posed by Stuart Anderson in his consultation letter to local residents. If not Tettenhall Railway Station, other options, depending on location of the proposed station include:
- Aldersley Railway Station
- Claregate Railway Station
- Barnhurst Railway Station
- Blakeley Green Railway Station
- Aldersley & Claregate Railway Station
- Palmers Cross Railway Station
Is there a need for a new station when there are adequate bus services?
A further question posed is whether there is a need for a new railway station when there are adequate bus routes in place. The National Express Number 6 bus route between Wolverhampton and Wobaston calls at both proposed sites for a new railway station. The number 5 Wolverhampton to Codsall passes nearby.
A bus between Wolverhampton and Barnhurst Lane takes around half an hour at rush hour. This length can be because the bus often gets caught on the narrow section of Aldersley Road near the junction that meets Lowlands Avenue and Hordern Road. Another issue is that National Express only use single decker buses on this route. This leads to over full buses during peak times that cannot allow any more passengers to board. The number 5 to Codsall stops at Claregate island at its nearest to the locations proposed for a possible new station.
A new station on this line would see the journey to Wolverhampton or back at around 5 minutes. The journey is between Wolverhampton and Bilbrook is 6 minutes.
What are your thoughts? Is a new railway station needed here? If so, where should it be located and what should it be called?