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Government revs Midlands Engine with £12m transport funding promise

Transport in the Midlands will receive a £12m funding boost from the government, it was announced today.

Transport secretary Chris Grayling announced the three-year grant for Midlands Connect, the partnership delivering the transport component of the Midlands Engine vision, at the Conservative party conference, currently being held in Birmingham.

The three-year £12m funding will help Midlands Connect implement its transport strategy, which is due to be published in March 2017 and includes plans to improve journey times in the Midlands, as well as develop the infrastructure to maximise the benefits from HS2.

Sir John Peace, chair of Midlands Connect and Midlands Engine, said: “This is a huge vote of confidence in the Midlands and in Midlands Connect.

“The funds will be used for the critical work of developing transport links that will drive growth not just here in the Midlands but across the UK.

“Better transport connections in the Midlands will help unlock and unleash our huge economic potential – which will help keep the UK economy strong while we adapt to life outside of the EU.”

Midlands Connect is made up of 10 LEPs, Network Rail, Highways England, HS2 Ltd, 28 local authorities and the business community, while the Department for Transport is an associate member. It is due to be established as a statutory body in 2018.

Andrew Cleaves, chair of the Midlands Connect Steering Group, said: “Now is the right time to invest heavily in critical infrastructure that will drive economic growth for generations to come. This investment announced today is crucial to that work."

East Midlands Trains recently published its new rail strategy, saying that bimodal trains will be needed by 2020.

The West Midlands has also become the first region outside London to use multimodal ticketing after launching the new Swift tickets.

(Image c. Katja Ogrin from EMPICS Entertainment)

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Noam Bleicher   04/10/2016 at 10:29

So what will it be spent on? Any ideas?

John Burns   04/10/2016 at 14:26

£12m is buttons.

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