More than £385m of funding has been announced for road, rail and tram schemes across the West Midlands.
The money, which has been awarded through the Government’s Local Growth Fund to the region’s three Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) – Greater Birmingham & Solihull, Black Country and Coventry & Warwickshire – will go towards a number of high profile transport projects. These include further Midland Metro tram extensions through Birmingham city centre and to the planned HS2 station in Eastside, upgrades to Wolverhampton and Coventry railway stations and improvements to M6 Junction 10 near Walsall.
Subject to successful business cases, the funding will be used as follows:
- £100m towards new tram extensions linking Birmingham New Street Station with Centenary Square, Broad Street and Five Ways and with the planned HS2 station in Eastside;
- £35m towards Sprint – a rapid transit system using ‘tramstyle’ buses travelling west out of Birmingham city centre along Hagley Road to Quinton and southeast along the A45 towards the airport;
A further £4.5m for the upgrade of Wolverhampton railway station and the surrounding area including a Metro tram connection;
- £30m towards ‘congestion busting’ improvements to M6 Junction 10;
- £19m towards improving transport links from Coventry to UK Central/Birmingham Airport/ HS2; and
- Nearly £5m towards transport improvements for the Longbridge regeneration area including an upgrade to the railway station, new cycle routes and bus interchange.
Wolverhampton City Council Leader Cllr Roger Lawrence said: “If we are to safeguard and grow our economy then an efficient and affordable transport system is vital.
Today’s funding announcement is a major step towards that goal and is warmly welcomed.
“It also means we can now move forward on those schemes we have identified locally as being good for business, good for passengers and good for the environment.”