Strategic transport plan could add £1.9bn each year to the Midlands economy

Midlands Connect has launched its Strategic Transport Plan for the Midlands to combat key challenges facing transport in the region.

The plan entitled ‘Greener, Fairer, Stronger’ outlines projects where investment is needed from both the public and private sectors.

It has set key programmes for investment, such as electric vehicle charging infrastructure, alternative fuels, boosting mobility in rural areas, creating more space for passengers and freight on the rail network and a ‘tap and cap’ smart ticketing solution, similar to the system used in London.

The projects, if delivered in full, will help provide up to £1.9bn more in regional economic output per year by 2040 in the Midlands, rising to £4.1bn per year by 2061 and support ambitions for 334,000 additional jobs to be created in the Midlands.

The key projects selected for investment in the next 10-15 years on the road and rail networks are;

  • Birmingham-Derby-Nottingham rail journey time improvement
  • M1 junction 28 improvements
  • A50/A500 Corridor Central Section (around Uttoxeter)
  • Nottingham-Lincoln rail journey time improvements
  • A1/A52 junction upgrade at Grantham
  • Coventry-Leicester-Nottingham new direct rail services and journey time improvements
  • A46 improvements at Syston
  • M1 improvements including Leicester Western Access and North Leicestershire extra capacity
  • A5/A426 Gibbet Hill Junction
  • A46 improvements between Stratford and Warwick
  • A46 improvements in Evesham area
  • Kings Norton area rail capacity improvements
  • Reinstatement of Snow Hill Station platform number 4 in Birmingham
  • Birmingham Motorway Box – safety and reliability improvements
  • A5 improvements between Hinckley and Tamworth
  • Birmingham-Black Country-Shrewsbury rail journey time improvement
  • M6 J15 improvements
  • Birmingham – Leicester rail journey time improvements

Midlands Connect Chair Sir John Peace said: “Our pledge to this region is simple – we will work behind the scenes to gather evidence, to make plans and bring forward their delivery.

“Most of all, we will not forget the people behind these plans, this grand vision is about giving the Midlands, its businesses and its communities the future they deserve.

“By working with our partners, playing to the region’s strengths and making a clear case for investment to Government, we can ensure that every single person in the region gets to where they need to be.”

Midlands Connect says it will publish a ‘Transport Technology Route Map’ later this year which will provide guidance to Local Authorities and businesses on which technologies to invest in to provide the greatest benefits whilst minimising risks.

In addition, it says it will improve infrastructure in order to cater to the needs of the freight industry and focus on how public and private sectors can work together to ensure that the impacts of HGVs on our roads are best managed.