Midlands could handle 'millions' more airport passengers


The Midlands could see a major expansion in passenger and freight flights under regional transport plans being developed.

The Midlands Connect transport group - a partnership of 28 local authorities, Network Rail, Highways England, government and the business community – has suggested Birmingham and the East Midlands airports could increase passenger numbers by millions.

‘Making best use of the Midlands’ airports, and their latent capacity, will be important and we look to work with government to address this issue. Birmingham Airport could increase its passenger number, including long haul, by eight million with no additional infrastructure costs.

'East Midlands Airport can deliver growth within the short haul market and support exports by providing additional freight connectivity,’ it has said.

The comments come in a prospectus released today from the region’s 11 Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) to encourage economic growth and investment in the Midlands.

It reiterated a commitment to draw up a full regional transport strategy by March 2017, which would align with the estimated £5.2bn of investment committed by this government to the region to create a modern, interconnected transport network.

The prospectus states: ‘Midlands Connect will address the congestion, slow journey times and unreliability on the Midlands’ rail and road arteries. This impacts on national trade and productivity, through disruptions to North-South connections via the Midlands. A further barrier to further economic agglomeration and passenger/freight movements East-West can potentially be created here.’

Government has said it aims to see the Midlands economy grow by £34bn by 2030, by matching the region to the predicted growth rate for the UK. Currently the Midlands Engine region is around 10% below the UK average in terms of productivity.


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