Up to £1.3bn of funding has been confirmed by the Department of Transport and will see bus, rail, tram, cycling and walking infrastructure transformed for the West Midlands.
Local funding via The City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement (CRSTS) will also be supporting the huge grant bringing the investment over the next five years up to £1.3 billion.
A priority list of projects has already been put in place by leaders of the West Midland Combined Authority (WMCA) and will see a move towards the decarbonisation of transport alongside investment focused on areas with poor connectivity to support inclusive economic growth.
Developed by Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), the transformation will see work carried out closely with local councils.
Over the last few weeks, WMCA gave the go-ahead to the initial four projects with the funding announcement by the Department for Transport meaning they can get underway. The projects are:
- £24 million to find sites, plan and deliver a network of 10 electric vehicle charging stations across the West Midlands
- £43 million will see the extension of the West Midlands Metro depot at Wednesbury and will service the region’s growing tram fleet and network – including the extension to Dudley in 2024.
- £17 million will see the replacement and upgrade of the Metro power supply for the current Wolverhampton to Birmingham line and will be its first upgrade since opening 22 years ago.
- £56 million will see the delivery of phase two of the Sprint bus priority corridor providing more bus lanes and junction upgrades alongside the full route between Solihull and Walsall. Phase one along the A34 and A45 in Birmingham is nearing its completion.
- The grant will also see funding for the development of new bus lanes and priority routes. Approximately £254 million will be put directly towards schemes that enable active travel, the collective name for cycling and walking.
The Department for Transport has also revealed that it has reserved extra funding of up to £87.9 million which will go toward the ongoing development of the region’s Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP).
Anne Shaw, executive director of TfWM, said: “This is the largest single investment in our transport infrastructure and will deliver a wide range of projects across our region including bus priority routes, railway stations, safe cycle routes and electric vehicle charging facilities.
“We have, with our local authority partners and backed by Government, developed an investment programme which will support our targets of delivering a green transport revolution, to better connect our communities and support new jobs and housing.”