Combined authority earmarks £43m for projects to keep West Midlands moving

The WMCA is allocating £3m towards the redevelopment of University Rail Station.

The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) is this week set to consider a £43m investment in ten congestion-busting projects.

The money from the government’s Transforming Cities Fund would be used to support a range of road, rail, tram, bus and cycling projects. Grants of between £237,000 and £10m will be put before the WMCA board for approval on 9 November.

Among the projects being supported are:

  • Cycling programme - £6m for cycle routes across the region.
  • Birchley Island - Sandwell Council will be awarded £7.4m towards work to increase capacity and cut congestion at the busy roundabout near to the M5 junction 2.
  • Dudley Interchange - a £10m grant will help fund a new £18m bus and metro station.
  • B4106 Spon End - Coventry City Council will receive £5.8m to support work to ease congestion on this key commuter route.
  • University Rail Station - £3m towards redevelopment.
  • Birmingham City Centre - £5m towards improvements to New Street, High Street and Victoria Square to create walkable links between bus, tram and rail services and replace the unsightly security barriers with something more fitting.

Further projects will see funds invested in highway improvements, cleaner buses and the planned Regional Transport Coordination Centre, which will monitor and act on congestion.

Roger Lawrence, WMCA portfolio holder for transport and leader of the City of Wolverhampton Council, said: “These are major transport projects and tackle notorious bottlenecks such as Birchley Island in Oldbury and B4106 Spon End road. These projects are all designed to keep the region moving. This investment in sustainable transport will benefit commuters, improve air quality and support the wider economic growth of the West Midlands.”

Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street added: “We know that may of our residents face daily frustrations as they travel and commute throughout the West Midlands and improving our transport network is a priority. So, we have agreed, with our transport and local authority partners, to help fund ten projects from across the whole region, which will make a real difference to residents whether they travel by car, bus, rail or cycle.”

Five of the projects will be delivered by Transport for West Midlands, part of the WMCA, with the remaining five being implemented by local councils.

Last year the WMCA was awarded £250m from the government’s Transforming Cities Fund to support sustainable transport. £207m will fund the Midland Metro extension between Wednesbury and Brierley Hill. The remaining £43m is now set to be allocated to the following ten projects, subject to approval by the WMCA Board.

  1. Dudley Interchange £10m.
  2. Birchley Island £7.43m.
  3. Cycling programme £6m. 
  4. B4106 Spon End £5.8m.
  5. Birmingham High Street/New Street/Victoria Square works £5m. 
  6. University Station £3m.
  7. Real Time Information Upgrades £2m.
  8. Highways Investment Programme £2m.
  9. Regional Transport Coordination Centre £1.5m.
  10. Low Emission Bus Scheme in Coventry £237,000.
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