WMCA Transport Plan Approval

The West Midland Combined Authority (WMCA) has approved transport plans for the next decade this includes £3.4 billion of tram extensions, new suburban rail lines, cycle routes and motorway improvements.

The Plan is part of the authorities long term transport strategy ‘Movement and Growth’ setting a high level programme of infrastructure projects up to 2026. This is the first of many strategies aiming to improve transport and unlocking economic growth across the West Midlands.

Cllr Roger Lawrence, lead member for transport for the WMCA and leader of City of Wolverhampton Council, said: “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.”

Feedback from an online public consultation pressed the demand for a bigger role for cycling. As a result a £165m Strategic and Local Cycle Network Development Programme has been added to existing cycling schemes in the Delivery Plan. With funding for this new programme now being pursued.

The strategic programme of schemes is divided into three sections:

  • More than £3bn of committed schemes which are wholly or substantially funded
  • A pool of potential schemes for which funding will be sought
  • A set of longer-term studies and proposed projects

Schemes to be implemented over the coming decade include:

Birmingham

  • Extending the Midland Metro system to Birmingham Curzon HS2 station in Eastside then through Digbeth and north Solihull to Birmingham Airport/HS2 Interchange
  • Improved road junction at congestion hot spots
  • New cycle routes

Coventry

  • A redeveloped Coventry railway station
  • Improvements to bottleneck road junctions and a new Key Route Network through the city
  • Major improvements to the M6 and the A46

Dudley and Sandwell

  • Midland Metro tram route between Brierley Hill, Dudley and Wednesbury, connecting to the existing Birmingham-Wolverhampton line
  • Improved M5/M6 motorway junctions

Solihull

  • Improvements to M42 Junction 6 so it is ready for HS2 and the UK Central development
  • Improved transport connections between Blythe Valley Business Park, Solihull town centre and the airport/HS2 Interchange station

Walsall

  • New cycle routes
  • Improvements to junctions on the M6
  • New heavy rail connection to Wolverhampton, with new stations at Willenhall and James Bridge

Wolverhampton

  • Improved transport connections to the i54
  • Improvements to junctions on the M6
  • New cycle routes

There are many more schemes planning to be implemented and the full document can be found here.

With Laura Shoaf MD of Transport for West Midlands working closely with SWM on our board.