A transport blueprint that will see £3.4 billion of tram extensions, new suburban rail lines, cycle routes and motorway improvements built over the coming decade has been approved.
Members of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) agreed to the 2026 Delivery Plan for Transport at its meeting in Birmingham on Friday September 8.
Prepared by Transport for West Midlands, the WMCA’s transport arm, the plan is part of the authority’s long term transport strategy ‘Movement for Growth’ and sets out a high level programme of infrastructure projects up to 2026.
A computer generated image of a Midland Metro tram running through Deritend, Birmingham.
This will be the first delivery phase of a longer term 20 year strategy to improve transport and unlock economic growth across the West Midlands and will ensure the region is ready for the arrival of the HS2 high-speed rail system, which is scheduled to begin services from two new stations in Birmingham in 2026.
Cllr Roger Lawrence, lead member for transport for the WMCA and leader of City of Wolverhampton Council, said: “The Delivery Plan maps out the way forward for transport in this region in delivering future prosperity.
“Transport is key as we work to ensure the West Midlands punches its weight nationally and globally. HS2 will bring us closer to London and the UK’s other big city regions and make us a world-class place in which to do business.”
“Now that this blueprint has been approved we can get to work in putting it into action.
“These are exciting schemes that will transform transport in our region and steer investment here to create new jobs and homes, building on the significant growth and development that is already happening through HS2.”
The final plan was compiled including feedback from a six week online public consultation.
Key amongst the responses was a demand for a bigger role for cycling alongside the proposed schemes.
As a result a £165m Strategic and Local Cycle Network Development Programme has been added to existing cycling schemes in the Delivery Plan.
Funding for this new programme is now being pursued.
Cllr Lawrence added: “I am particularly pleased at how the views of the public helped shape this final plan, that sort of input is key in helping us deliver what people need.”
The strategic programme of schemes is divided into three sections:
Schemes that will be built over the coming decade include
Dudley and Sandwell
The full document can be found here