BROMSGROVE'S new multi-million pound railway station has been approved by Worcestershire County Council's cabinet, paving the way for construction to begin.

The plans for the £17.4 million station, 250 metres south of the current station in New Road, Aston Fields, were approved by members of Worcestershire County Council's cabinet on December 12.

Construction is now planned to begin next year, in line to open in 2015.

The multi-million pound station, funded by Worcestershire County Council and Centro, is needed because the location of the current station would not allow the extension of the existing three-carriage platforms, a significant barrier to increasing capacity on the line.

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

It includes a staffed ticket office and a passenger waiting room, ticket and travel information, and toilets.

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

Station Approach, in New Road, would continue to be the main access road to the station but an existing road off Stoke Road would be improved, becoming a second road entrance, while additional access for pedestrians and cyclists would be available off Garrington Road.

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.

Electrification is also crucial as it would increase the number of trains to and from Bromsgrove and Birmingham, to potentially an extra three per hour.

For many years securing the funding for the station became a major stumbling block.

Network Rail originally committed themselves to the project, proposed to be built 200 yards south of the existing one on the site of the old Goods Yard, in 2007, and ambitiously aimed for a 2008 opening.

But in the years since commuters were left disappointed as the scheme stalled at the design stage, with some fearing the project's future was in doubt.

Funding was secured earlier this year, and since then there has been several positive announcements with planning permission approved for the ambitious project.

Councillor Simon Geraghty, the county council's deputy leader and cabinet member for economy, skills and infrastructure, said: "I'm pleased with the approval.

"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.

"I'm looking forward to seeing this exciting project become a reality."

The total project cost is estimated at £17.4 million including £1.9 million development costs.