The UK Department for Transport (DfT) has confirmed a £1.05bn grant to transform road, bus, rail, tram, cycling and walking infrastructure across to the West Midlands.
According to West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), the City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement (CRSTS) money, topped up with local funding, will deliver £1.3bn investment to the region over the next five years.
WMCA leaders have drawn up a priority list of schemes to drive the decarbonisation of transport, target investment into areas of poor connectivity and support inclusive economic growth.
The programme has been developed by Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), which is part of WMCA, in partnership with local councils.
Last month the WMCA board gave the green light to the first four projects. Today’s funding confirmation means work on these can now start. The projects are:
- £24m to seek sites for, plan and deliver a network of 10 EV charging stations across the West Midlands
- £43m to extend the West Midlands Metro depot at Wednesbury to service the region’s growing tram fleet and network – including the extension to Dudley in 2024
- £17m to replace and upgrade the Metro power supply on the existing Wolverhampton to Birmingham line for the first time since it opened 22 years ago
- £56m to deliver phase two of the Sprint bus priority corridor with more bus lanes and junction upgrades along the full route between Solihull and Walsall. Phase one along the A34 and A45 in Birmingham is nearing completion
The grant includes funding for the development of new bus lanes and priority routes. Around £254m will go directly toward schemes that enable active travel.
The DfT also confirmed that it has earmarked additional funding of up to £87.9m towards the further development of the region’s Bus Service Improvement Plan.
Anne Shaw, executive director of TfWM, said: “This is the largest single investment in our transport infrastructure and will deliver a wide range of projects across our region including bus priority routes, railway stations, safe cycle routes and electric vehicle charging facilities.
“We have, with our local authority partners and backed by government, developed an investment programme that will support our targets of delivering a green transport revolution, to better connect our communities and support new jobs and housing.”