PLANS BY the Department for Transport to formally close Norton Bridge station in Staffordshire will go ahead but a replacement bus service will continued to be supported until March 2019. The station has not been served by passenger trains since 2004, when the West Coast route modernisation work rendered the platform inaccessible. Since then a bus service has been provided to the station, but DfT proposes to cease its funding for this. Following a consultation, which had initially proposed the station close when the new West Midlands franchise starts in October this year (although this has subsequently been deferred), DfT says it will now maintain part-funding for the rail replacement bus service until March 2019 to allow for bus service levels to be reviewed by Staffordshire County Council in line with other local services.