Six councils receive funding to develop ideas for road improvements

Birchley Island

Midlands Connect is giving six local authorities in the region up to £50,000 to create the case for funding to improve local roads.

The cash will allow local councils to assess the feasibility of key schemes in their area, potentially paving the way to later seeking Government support if viable options can be found.

The Major Road Network (MRN) forms a middle tier of the country’s busiest and most economically-important local authority ‘A’ roads. The schemes supported will all reduce congestion, support housing and employment growth, encourage people to walk, cycle and use public transport, and provide better links to motorways and major trunk roads.

These schemes, submitted by local authorities, were assessed for their feasibility, ‘deliverability’ and ability to ease congestion.

Each of the improvements is linked to wider regional priorities and objectives, including securing economic renewal, boosting productivity and supporting new housing development, as well as encouraging active travel such as walking and cycling.

Midlands Connect is giving the following schemes funding and support to understand the options and opportunities to bring forward improvements:

A38 Kingsbury Road Corridor

A617- Kelham Bypass

A41/A4444 Moxley Junction, Walsall

A4123 Corridor

A452 Kenilworth to Leamington Spa Multi-Modal Transport Corridor

A456/A491/A450 – Kidderminster & Hagley North West MRN Corridor

Midlands Connect will work with local councils to offer expertise in building their case to government. This is the first of hopefully three rounds of support for local councils to promote local schemes.

In November, Midlands Connect in conjunction with Lincolnshire County Council, was able to secure funding for the North Hykeham Relief Route, which was a MRN scheme. Midlands Connect hopes that these schemes, given funding today, could enjoy the same fate in the future.

More recently another Midlands Connect promoted scheme, Birchley Island in Sandwell secured nearly £30m for improvements.

MRN and strategic roads manager Swati Mittal said: “We are delighted to support these critical schemes throughout the region, using our expertise to allow Local Authorities to make the case to government for funding.

“Midlands Connect explores, develops and recommends transport projects which will provide the biggest possible economic, environmental and social benefits for the Midlands. These projects will deliver economic uplift, jobs and development opportunities throughout the region.

“We will also be examining how these schemes can contribute to decarbonisation, the take up of public transport and active travel. It’s essential that all road investments have these objectives at their heart.”