Latest Rail News

11.09.17

West Midlands approves £3.4bn decade-long rail investment plan

Members of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) have now formally stamped the 2026 Delivery Plan for Transport that will see £3.4bn invested into tram extensions, suburban rail lines and new stations over the next decade, as well as cycle routes and motorway improvements.

The plan, announced in April this year, includes schemes such as extending the Midland Metro in Birmingham, Solihull and the Black Country, as well as rail infrastructure to open up new passenger lines, such as through the Camp Hill Chords project.

A consultation for the document ran from April until June this year, where passengers and stakeholders were invited to have a say on the plan’s ambitions to unlock economic growth and maximise HS2 opportunities in the region.

In a WMCA meeting held on Friday, councillors have formally agreed to press ahead with the major transport plan, which forms part of the organisation’s long-term ‘Movement for Growth’ strategy and sets out “a high-level programme of infrastructure projects” for the next 10 years.

This will mark the first delivery phase of a longer-term 20-year strategy to improve transport across West Midlands and ensure the region is ready for HS2, which is expected to operate in Birmingham from 2026.

“The Delivery Plan maps out the way forward for transport in this region in delivering future prosperity,” said Cllr Roger Lawrence, WMCA’s lead member for transport and leader of Wolverhampton City Council. “Transport is key as we work to ensure the West Midlands punches its weight nationally and globally. HS2 will bring us closer to London and the UK’s other big city regions and make us a world-class place in which to do business.

“Now that this blueprint has been approved we can get to work in putting it into action.”

He also argued the strategy puts forward “exciting schemes that will transform transport in our region and steer investment here to create new jobs and homes”.

The final plan that was approved last week was compiled including the feedback gathered from the six-week consultation. Amongst the feedback was a demand for a bigger role for cycling alongside other proposed rail and road schemes.

“I am particularly pleased at how the views of the public helped shape this final plan, that sort of input is key in helping us deliver what people need,” said Cllr Lawrence.

The strategic programme is split into three sections: more than £3bn of committed schemes which are wholly or substantially funded; a pool of potential schemes for which funding will be sought; and a set of longer-term studies and proposed projects.

Some of the projects that will be pursues in the coming months and years include extending the Metro to Birmingham Curzon HS2 station in Eastside then through Digbeth and north Solihull to Birmingham Airport/HS2 Interchange; a redeveloped Coventry station; a Metro tram route between Brierley Hill, Dudley and Wednesbury, connecting to the existing Birmingham-Wolverhampton line; and new heavy rail connections to Wolverhampton, with new stations at Willenhall and James Bridge.

Comments

Chrism   14/09/2017 at 01:33

Much as I welcome this (assuming the funding actually happens), yet again we see the local authority refusing to consider the obvious solution of platforms at Curzon Street on the existing tracks that pass right alongside. So how the hell are rail passengers from Wolverhampton, Walsall, Kings Norton or Aston (and many others) supposed to change onto a HS2 train? They will be worse off in 2026 than today when a single change at New Street is possible.

Add your comment

 

rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

Dawlish railway may be ‘moved out to sea’ to protect it from storms under new proposals

13/06/2019Dawlish railway may be ‘moved out to sea’ to protect it from storms under new proposals

The storm-battered Dawlish rail line could be “moved out to sea” and away from the “hazard” of the cliffs under new plans... more >
TfL awards contract for new DLR fleet to replace 30-year-old trains

12/06/2019TfL awards contract for new DLR fleet to replace 30-year-old trains

TfL has awarded a contract for 43 new trains to replace the oldest rolling stock on the Docklands Light Railway (DLR), with the first scheduled t... more >
Hitachi trains for Happy trains

10/06/2019Hitachi trains for Happy trains

ScotRail project manager Kirsty Devlin discusses the withdrawal of Class 365s, to be replaced with the brand-new Class 385 fleet. While Scot... more >

editor's comment

23/01/2018Out with the old...

Despite a few disappointing policy announcements, especially for the electrification aficionados amongst us, 2017 was, like Darren Caplan writes on page 20, a year generally marked by positive news for the rail industry. We polished off the iconic Ordsall Chord (p32), hit some solid milestones on Thameslink (p40), progressed on ambitious rolling stock orders (p16), and finally started moving forward on HS2 (p14) ‒ paving the way for a New Ye... read more >

rail industry focus

View all News

interviews

Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

08/05/2019Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

In answering the pressing questions of how current and future generations of managers can provide solutions to high-profile infrastructure projec... more >
Women in rail - is the industry on the right track?

12/03/2019Women in rail - is the industry on the right track?

RTM sits down with Samantha Smith, sole female member of the TransPennine Route Upgrade Alliance Leadership Team, to find out more about encourag... more >
TfN Strategic Transport Plan: not just for transport's sake

22/01/2019TfN Strategic Transport Plan: not just for transport's sake

Peter Molyneux, Transport for the North’s (TfN’s) strategic roads director, has been leading on the development of the seven economic... more >

last word

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

This summer, Arriva Group's CrossCountry and the Scout Association joined to launch a new partnership to promote rail safety among young people. ... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

Apprentice to Co-leading the Rail Sector Deal

05/06/2019Apprentice to Co-leading the Rail Sector Deal

In a series of Q&A’s with key speakers on the run up to TransCityRail Midlands, we caught up with TransCityRail panellist and Amey&rsqu... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

comment

Hitachi trains for Happy trains

10/06/2019Hitachi trains for Happy trains

ScotRail project manager Kirsty Devlin discusses the withdrawal of Class 365s, to be replaced with the brand-new Class 385 fleet. While Scot... more >
Malcolm Holmes on new stations for the Black Country

10/06/2019Malcolm Holmes on new stations for the Black Country

Malcolm Holmes, executive director of the West Midlands Rail Executive, described the new stations set to be built for the Black Country region o... more >
The skills bottleneck: Dealing with growing apprenticeship demand

10/06/2019The skills bottleneck: Dealing with growing apprenticeship demand

Richard Turner, head of apprenticeships at Network Rail, details the reasons for growing apprenticeship demand in the rail sector over the coming... more >
A train journey on the Midland Main Line 15 years from now…

10/06/2019A train journey on the Midland Main Line 15 years from now…

Chris Hobson, director of policy and external affairs at the East Midlands Chamber, talks in detail about what travelling through the region will... more >