Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) said it will drive forward more than £4bn of transport infrastructure over the coming decade, including more tram extensions, new suburban rail lines, cycle routes and better motorways.
The transport arm of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), which will come into being later this month, said it will ‘prioritise the building of those schemes that can best underpin and support its wider goals for economic growth, housing and skills’.
Laura Shoaf, will be managing director of TfWM
It said these schemes will also make sure the region has the right transport links in place to connect and feed into the HS2 high speed rail line when it opens in 2026, helping it secure the maximum economic benefits from the line.
Cllr Roger Lawrence, leader of the City of Wolverhampton Council and West Midlands lead for transport, said: ‘We believe the new combined authority working through Transport for West Midlands will bring a step change in the way transport infrastructure is funded and delivered.
‘The devolution deal we have struck with government means we now have far greater freedom to decide for ourselves and deliver those transport schemes that give us the biggest bang for our buck in terms of supporting economic growth and passenger benefits.’
Cllr Lawrence said a key priority for TfWM during the next year would be to draw up a timetable setting out which schemes will be delivered over the decade leading up to HS2.
The timetable will set out the building programme for much of the infrastructure contained in the region’s 25-year strategic transport plan, which was launched by the outgoing West Midlands Integrated Transport Authority last November and has been adopted by TfWM.
These schemes include more Metro tram extensions in Birmingham, Solihull and the Black Country, new rail infrastructure, improvements to key motorway and road junctions and a ‘comprehensive cycle network’.
TfWM said work will concentrate on putting in place a fully integrated transport system of bus, rail, tram and road, underpinned by smart technology.
It will also work closely with the Government over the coming months on ways to get better use of the M6 toll road by integrating it more closely with the wider strategic road network.
The official launch of the WMCA, which was due to take place on Friday (10 June) has been delayed for at least a week after an MP raised a formal objection.