WMCA agrees to 50+ transport improvement projects across region

LinkedIn +

More than 50 projects to improve road, rail, tram, bus, cycling and walking routes across the West Midlands have been agreed by West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA).

The list of preferred schemes will now be submitted to the UK Department for Transport (DfT) for final approval, after which the full list will be published.

The wide-ranging plans include more than 100km (60 miles) of new segregated cycle routes, 50km (30 miles) of bus lanes and priority measures, a new railway station at Aldridge and the UK’s first very light rail line in Coventry city centre.

Efforts to encourage greater use of EVs will be supported with a network of 1,600 car charging hubs and 10 ultra-rapid chargepoints for charging on the go and to support users of vans and light goods vehicles.

Investment will also continue in the existing Metro system, with funding to be set aside to develop the business case and plan for the further extension of the Midland Metro, as well as the expansion of the tram depot in Wednesbury.

The schemes, to be developed over the next five years, will be funded from the £1.05bn of City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement, which was awarded to the region by the DfT last year, topped up with local funding.

Schemes which promote the decarbonisation of transport, target investment into areas of poor connectivity and support inclusive growth have been prioritised – in line with policies outlined in the region’s draft Local Transport Plan, which was also approved by WMCA.

Access to sustainable transport will be improved along key growth corridors including between Bordesley Green and Chelmsley Wood, Wolverhampton and Walsall, Dudley and Sandwell and Smethwick and Icknield.

Cllr Ian Ward, WMCA portfolio holder for transport and leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “The seven local authorities have worked together to produce a package that will ensure we get the most from this investment.

“It will deliver new work and leisure opportunities for our communities, improve our health, reduce traffic congestion, and accelerate our journey towards becoming a net-zero carbon region while fully integrating with our ongoing investment in rail, bus, Metro and cycling.”

Share this story: