West Midlands transport: multi-million pound bid to improve services unveiled

More trams, cycle lanes, trains and electric car charging points is  included in the ambitious bid to support green revolution

<p>Multi-billion pound bid to improve transport across the West Midlands is unveiled, including extension of Midlands Metro tram routes</p>

Multi-billion pound bid to improve transport across the West Midlands is unveiled, including extension of Midlands Metro tram routes

Together, the local councils of the West Midlands are asking the government for up to £2 billion to bring more trams, cycle lanes, trains and electric car charging points to the region over the next five years.

The vision is led by four expansions to the Midland Metro Tram System.

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The bid has been unveiled by West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) Board as construction continues at the recently refurbished Wolverhampton train station.

Should the bid to the Government’s City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement fund and Bus Improvement Plan fund be successful the Midland Metro Tram could continue from this station all the way to the New Cross Hospital.

The West Midlands has to bid for the cash against Liverpool, Sheffield Newcastle and Manchester. The Mayor is confident that the region get at least half of the funding.

Mayor Andy Street says he is confident that the West Midlands will get at least half of the funding - explaining that there is a £4.2 billion pot offered by the government.

Here are the key points of the bid:

West Midlands Metro

The bid includes £280 million towards both improvements to the existing network and for the next series of four extensions.

Wednesbury to Walsall along the disused railway line

Wolverhampton city centre to New Cross Hospital

Hagley Road, Birmingham and Sandwell

Brierley Hill to Stourbridge

Work on the Midland Metro tram extension at Wolverhampton continues as details of a WMCA Board bid for £2bn funding to improve transport is unveiled

Rail stations

Opening of a new railway station at Aldridge

Reopening Sutton Park line and creating a Sutton Coldfield Gateway – a complete development of new rail and bus interchange in the town centre

Developing plans for Snow Hill and Moor Street

Redevelopment of Solihull railway station.

Planning for a new station at Tettenhall

Light railway line in Coventry, designed to offer the benefits of trams with lower development costs

Detailed business cases for the Midlands Rail Hub which features a £2bn package of improvements to strengthen links between Leicester, Nottingham, Coventry, Derby, Hereford and Worcester and improve services to Wales and the South West and allow more people to access HS2.

Laura Shoaf, Chief Executive at West Midlands Combined Authority discusses the £2bn transport bid and plans to improve services

Bus services

Lower and simpler fares – with Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) offering uniform pricing and seamless ticketing across operators and types of transport

Investment in 110km of new bus lanes and priority junctions with more cross-city bus services, Sprint rapid transit routes and other services to improve journey times and punctuality (c£200m)

Enhanced real time information for passengers showing where the bus is on the network and provision of accurate fastest route information

£55 million investment into a fleet of 200 zero-emission hydrogen buses in collaboration with National Express West Midlands

Expansion of the new West Midlands On Demand bus service

Full details of the Bus Service Improvement Plan here

Active travel, like cycling, cuts carbon emissions and improves health (Picture: Andrew O'Brien/JPI Media)

Cycling

Miles of safe routes created to support economic grown and the #WM2041 net-zero carbon targets

16 new safe cycle routes on the Starley Network – including extension of Birmingham A38 cycleway to Longbridge and Kersley to Coventry city centre

Other projects

Deliver 1,000 electric vehicle charging points and 10 ultra-rapid charging stations at key locations for commercial fleets

Transport links to proposed gigafactory at Coventry

Coventry Very Light Rail – to see the innovative city centre project through to completion offering the benefit of trams, without large construction costs and timescales.

New park and ride sites

Road safety measures to reduce serious accidents

Further roll out of a contactless and best value fare payment system across the network

Support for innovation, research and new technology in transport

Full details of the Transport for West Midlands bid are available here

16 new cycling routes have been included in a bid for up to £2bn funding to improve transport in the West Midlands

What the West Midlands Mayor and Birmingham City Council Leader say about the bid

Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street said: “We are already putting unprecedented investment in our transport network with projects such as the new Wednesbury to Brierley Hill Metro extension, the opening of five new railway stations and the roll out of West Midlands Cycle Hire earlier this year.

“This new funding will build on that by not only helping us get some projects, such as Aldridge Railway Station, over the finishing line, but set us well on the road to a real revolution in transport for the West Midlands delivering the next round of Metro extensions, bus routes and train lines that will help our region grow and prosper.

“This investment will transform the fortunes of communities by better linking people to key locations like New Cross Hospital and by making the switch to public transport and active travel easier and better value for everyone.”

Cllr Ian Ward, WMCA portfolio holder for transport and leader of Birmingham City Council, added: “We have set out an ambitious bid which supports our aims of delivering a green revolution in transport and targets investment in the region’s more deprived and poorly connected communities – as better connections attracts both jobs and supports new housing.

“It is therefore right to make a huge ask of Government to secure the funding necessary to deliver on these plans and give people more reasons to take the tram, bus and train or cycle.”

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