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West Midlands preparing for HS2 with local links

The West Midland’s Integrated Transport Authority (ITA) Shadow Board has agreed a £2bn package of transport schemes to get the most benefit from HS2.

The Local Connectivity Package includes: an extension of the Metro to Wolverhampton’s rail station and from New Street to Centenary Square; electrifying the Walsall to Rugeley and Coventry to Leamington Spa lines; building a new rail station and provide services at Kenilworth; expanding park & ride sites at local stations; introducing a rapid transit system along Hagley Road; upgrading the area between New Street and Moor Street stations; and improving cycle links.

The improvements are planned to be built between 2015 and 2019, ready for the first phase of HS2 in 2026.

Cllr Roger Lawrence, spokesman for the ITA Shadow Board, which is made up of the leaders of the seven West Midland councils, said: “HS2 offers a once in a lifetime opportunity for our region and we intend to grab it with both hands.

“With the right local transport connections we can secure more than 51,000 new jobs and boost the West Midlands economy by more than £4.1bn a year, benefitting people right across our region.

“We have already secured more than £320m towards this package so we can press on and build several of the schemes over the next five years or so.

“That’s a great start and we will now continue to work closely with the region’s Local Enterprise Partnerships and Network Rail amongst others to deliver the rest of the package.”

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Chris MLY   25/10/2013 at 03:14

All these schemes may be worth doing in their own right, but they don't deal with the main issue - New Street and Curzon Street are too far apart to be a useful interchange. Passengers need a quick and seamless transfer from conventional rail to HS2. The only way to do this is by building platforms on the existing WCML tracks at Curzon Street, to give the city a second rail interchange.

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