A CEREMONY has been held to mark the start of work on Bromsgrove's new multi-million pound railway station.

The sod-cutting ceremony took place on Thursday, (March 13), at the Aston Fields site of the new station, which is 250 metres south of the current New Road one.

Bromsgrove residents have suffered an eight-year wait, to reach this point.

Network Rail originally committed themselves to the project in 2007, ambitiously aiming for a 2008 opening.

But for many years securing the funding for the station, previously estimated to be in the region of £10-£12 million, became a major stumbling block.

In 2012 a funding agreement was reached between the main players for the £17.4 million station.

And since then it has just been good news as the green light was given to the project by senior councillors and council planners.

The station will feature a staffed ticket office, a passenger waiting room, toilets, automated ticketing, covered cycle storage, vending machines, and covered access to the lift and stairs.

The aim is for the station to open next year. Work on a separate electrification scheme - bringing all four of the station's new platforms into use - is expected to be completed by May 2016.

Councillor Simon Geraghty, Worcestershire County Council's deputy leader and cabinet member for economy, skills and infrastructure, said: "Improving transport links in our county is a key priority to secure future economic growth and the substantial investment in this important improvement project for the new Bromsgrove Rail Station is a reflection of our commitment.

"This is an important milestone for the project and I'm looking forward to seeing this exciting project become a reality."

Roger Horton, Centro's lead member for rail, said: "I am delighted that work is getting underway.

"The new station, together with connection to the Cross City line and electrification, will mean better and more frequent services for passengers.”

Bromsgrove District Leader, Roger Hollingworth, added: "It has been a long time coming, but work has started now.

"It certainly is an exciting development for Bromsgrove people."