SENIOR county councillors have approved the authority's contribution towards Bromsgrove's new multi-million pound new railway station.

Members at Worcestershire County Council's latest full council meeting, held on January 16, approved plans for the £17.4 million station and for the authority's contribution of £5.5 million.

The station, planned to be built 250 metres south of the current station in New Road, Aston Fields, is needed because the location of the current station does not allow the extension of the existing three-carriage platforms, or accommodate the needs of the proposed electrification of the railway line.

The station is planned to accommodate six carriage trains, with the possibility for future extension for nine carriage trains.

It also includes a staffed ticket office and a passenger waiting room, a covered bridge link with stairs and lifts to all platforms, ticket and travel information, and toilets.

The local road network around the station would also be revamped under the scheme.

An existing road off Stoke Road would be improved to become an additional second road entrance, while additional access for pedestrians and cyclists would be available off Garrington Road.

The scheme is earmarked for a 2015 opening, while work on a separate electrification scheme - bringing all four of the station's new platforms into use - would be expected to be completed by May 2016.

Councillor Simon Geraghty, the county council's deputy leader and cabinet member for economy, skills and infrastructure, said: "I'm pleased with the approval from councillors, it takes forward something which Bromsgrove has been waiting for, for many years.

"It not only provides good news for commuters into Birmingham but also to the south of the county and further.

"Improving transport links in our county is a key priority to secure future economic growth."