£2bn transport package for the West Midlands to reap maximum economic benefits from HS2

A £2bn package of rail, tram and rapid transit schemes to
ensure the West Midlands secures the maximum economic
benefits possible from HS2 has been formally agreed.
The Local Connectivity Package, which was ratified by the
region’s new Integrated Transport Authority Shadow Board,
will enable the West Midlands to more than double the
potential benefits of HS2 by best connecting and feeding
into the high speed rail line.

The package includes extensions to the Midland Metro
tram system in Birmingham and the Black Country, new
and upgraded rail stations, opening up rail freight lines to
passenger services and the electrification of other key rail
routes.

With the right local transport connections Centro believes
the West Midlands can secure more than 51,000 new jobs
and boost the West Midlands economy by more than
£4.1bn a year, benefitting people right across the region.
The West Midlands have already secured more than £320
million towards this package so during the forthcoming
months Centro will continue to work closely with the
region’s Local Enterprise Partnerships and Network Rail
amongst others to deliver the rest of the package. The
£320m already secured would be used to:

  • Extend the Midland Metro tram from St George’s in Wolverhampton to the city’s rail station and from Birmingham New Street to Centenary Square ;
  • Electrify the Walsall to Rugeley and the Coventry to Leamington Spa rail lines ;
  • Build a new rail station and provide services at Kenilworth ;
  • Expand park and ride sites at local rail stations ;
  • Introduce a tram-style bus rapid transit system called SPRINT along the Hagley Road ;
  • Upgrade the area between New Street and Moor Street Stations to create a “One Station” environment ;
  • Improve cycle links.

The schemes are earmarked to be built between 2015 and
2019.

Other schemes in the Local Connectivity Package include
capacity improvements on the Snow Hill lines, the introduction
of rail passenger services on the Camp Hill line in south
Birmingham, Metro tram extensions from Wednesbury to
Brierley Hill and through Birmingham’s Eastside district to
the city’s HS2 station and a rapid transit link between the
HS2 station at the airport/NEC and Coventry.

Potential funding sources for the schemes include Network
Rail’s control period 6, the Single Local Growth Fund,
Enterprise Zone, private sector developers, local and
national government and HS2 Ltd.

The schemes would be delivered over a 10-15 year period, the
equivalent of a £167m a year investment in the West Midlands.
The Connectivity Package document is available to
download at: http://www.centro.org.uk/rail/HighSpeed2.aspx

Maria-Pilar Machancoses (CENTRO):

  • Updated : December 19, 2013

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