Fares, rail policy and DfT news

23.11.17

Hammond pledges £250m to West Midlands transport in second devo deal

A new devolution deal has secured £250m of funding for the West Midlands transport infrastructure.

The deal between the government and the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) will see funds made available for the extension of the Midland Metro from Wednesbury to Brierley Hill.

The cash will also support the transfer of ownership of the non-operational section of the Round Oak to Walsall railway route.

As part of the deal the government has pledged support for the ambition of the HS2 Growth Strategy and the emerging West Midlands Strategic Transport Plan, and in order to do so has approved the business case for a significant extension of the Curzon Street Enterprise Zone.

Andy Street, mayor of the West Midlands, welcomed the second devolution deal, calling it an “important step in empowering” the region.

He said: “It is also the result of the commitment of all members of the West Midlands Combined Authority to work together for the good of the whole region.

“This deal sets out our intention to produce a Local Industrial Strategy which, alongside the forthcoming housing deal, will produce a joined-up approach to jobs, housing, skills and transport investment.”

Councillor Bob Sleigh, deputy mayor of the West Midlands and leader of Solihull Council, added: “The first devolution deal in November 2015 was a really important milestone for the region, creating the West Midlands Combined Authority and agreeing to the election of a mayor.

“This second deal is an encouraging step on from there.

“We now immediately begin the process of working on the different parts of the deal and, crucially, begin implementation.

“This is not the end of the journey, it’s the start of a new way of working with government.”

Top image: Ross Jukes Photography

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