Plans revealed for £2bn of investment in West Midlands transport

The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) Board has sanctioned bids for two government funds, which, along with local funds, could fetch investment of up to £2bn ($2.73bn) over the upcoming five years for transport in the region.

The two government funds include the City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement (CRSTS) and Bus Service Improvement Plan funds.

Nearly £280m ($382.63m) will be invested for improving the current West Midlands Metro network, as well as for the comprehensive planning work for the next series of extensions.

These extensions cover Wednesbury to Walsall along the disused railway track, Wolverhampton city centre to New Cross Hospital, Brierley Hill to Stourbridge, and Hagley Road, Birmingham and Sandwell.

Under the projects, a new railway station at Aldridge will be opened, along with developing plans for the expansion of Snow Hill and Moor Street stations.

The rail projects will also include the reopening of the Sutton Park line and detailed business cases for the Midlands Rail Hub project.

As part of the project, the original Birmingham to Wolverhampton line will be modernised.

For improved connection between bus, rail and cycling routes, vital interchanges will be developed, including the Sutton Coldfield Town Centre Gateway, Dudley Port, as well as redevelopment of Solihull railway station.

Furthermore, the bid comprises the Very Light Rail scheme in Coventry city centre, which will be developed to offer trams with lower development expenses.

The authority will draft plans for the development of a new station at Tettenhall, as well as develop the Snow Hill Platform 4.

WMCA is planning to bid for a portion of a £4.2bn ($5.74bn) CRSTS funding that has been put aside by the Government.

With the funding involving transport investment for five years from April next year, the decision regarding the allocation for the region’s development is expected to take place during the autumn.

It will be supported by more than £550m ($751.59m) investment from public and private sector sources within the region.

In March this year, the UK Government allocated approximately $80.62 (£59m) to projects that would help in the opening of five new West Midlands rail stations.

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