Transport operator FirstGroup has announced the opening of the long-delayed Worcestershire Parkway station in Norton, UK, delivering increased connectivity to London, the Midlands and South Wales.

The site opened after more than 30 years of planning while Great Western Railway’s (GWR) service to London Paddington made the first call at the station.

GWR services will operate between Hereford/Great Malvern/Worcester, and the Thames Valley and London Paddington through Pershore, Evesham, Oxford and Reading stations.

The Worcestershire Parkway station is part of a rail investment programme exceeding £50m in the county.

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GWR interim managing director Matthew Golton said: “Worcestershire Parkway is the first brand-new mainline railway station to open in Worcestershire in more 100 years, which is really exciting news.

“It will be served by Great Western Railway and CrossCountry trains, with more than 60 services calling each day. There will be direct trains to London in under two hours, and services to Cardiff and Nottingham, through the centre of Worcester and on to Hereford.”

In 2018, construction started on the station to serve the North Cotswolds Line, as well as the Cardiff to Nottingham route.

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The station features a 500-space car park that includes disabled parking. It has been designed to meet existing standards in terms of lighting, CCTV, ticketing, customer facilities and information points.

The site is a modern station building and features a fully accessible single platform on the North Cotswolds Line, two platforms on the Cardiff to Nottingham route, secure cycle storage, motorcycle parking and electric car charging points.

It also has direct access to local bus services through a bus/rail interchange, taxi rank and drop-off/pick-up point, a new roundabout and a new footbridge.

CrossCountry services will operate between Cardiff and Nottingham.

In February 2017, Worcestershire County Council selected construction company Buckingham Group to design and build the new Worcestershire Parkway Regional Interchange Station.