15 minute transport plans unveiled for West Midlands as part of £1.3bn investment

A new transport strategy aims to place local amenities within a 15 minute distance from West Midlands residents
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Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) has unveiled radical plans to reduce the need for car ownership in the region.

As part of its £1.3bn investment programme over five years the blueprint includes an aim to place local amenities within 15 minutes reach of residents - either by walking, wheeling, cycling or scooting.

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TfWM are also planning for regional facilities and workplaces to be within a 45 minute journey time either by public or shared transport.

The plans, which have been drawn up over two years, are to be presented to the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) Board on Friday, 10 February.

Transport chiefs say the blueprint is also geared towards tackling the challenges of climate emergency, inequality, traffic congestion and cost of living pressures.

Emerging technology and innovations will play a part in delivery - such as the on-demand bus services being trialled in Coventry where buses are freed from set routes and timetables and can be booked by people over the phone or through an app.

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Smart travel apps are also a key part of the plan – coordinating transport options and finding the lowest fares - as will shared transport such as hire bikes and e-scooters.

There are also dozens of transport infrastructure projects over five years through the City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement (CRSTS). These range from larger projects like extensions to the West Midlands Metro network, to smaller schemes such as town centre cycle and walking routes.

This is the latest stage in the development of the region’s fifth Local Transport Plan which will set the framework for local governance of and investment in our transport networks up to at least 2041.

Transport for West Midlands unveil 15 minute travel plansTransport for West Midlands unveil 15 minute travel plans
Transport for West Midlands unveil 15 minute travel plans

What have local politicians said about the 15 minute Local Transport plans?

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands and WMCA chair, said: “With our £1.3 billion investment programme already well under way – resulting in unprecedented funding for our tram, rail, bus and cycling networks – there’s even more good news to come.

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“This plan sets out how we’re designing neighbourhoods and communities fit for the future – reducing car reliance and making it easier than ever to make more sustainable local journeys.

“Whether it’s 5G, connected vehicles or on demand transport, we’re harnessing new technology and the power of innovation to transform the travel experience for residents right across our region – at the same time as creating jobs and tackling the climate emergency.”

West Midlands Mayor Andy StreetWest Midlands Mayor Andy Street
West Midlands Mayor Andy Street

Cllr Ian Ward, WMCA portfolio lead for transport and leader of Birmingham City Council, added: “We are facing a climate emergency and a key factor here in the West Midlands is our reliance on private car journeys – the majority of which are under two miles.

“This plan demonstrates that we cannot go on as we have – doing nothing risks increasing traffic congestion, more pollution and higher costs. It undermines our productivity and ability to attract investment.

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“It sets out that while we can design safe, convenient and affordable transport services, we also need people to play their part by changing their behaviour and considering whether they do need to make those car journeys.”

Public consultations planned

The WMCA Board said it will launch a further round of public engagement on key themes of the plan called the six Big Moves:

  • Behaviour change
  • Accessible and inclusive places
  • Safe, efficient and reliable network
  • Walk, wheel, cycle and scoot
  • Public transport and shared mobility
  • Green transport revolution

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