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Metro, train and bus links to HS2 stations unveiled in £1.6bn transport package

Metro, train and bus links to HS2 stations unveiled in £1.6bn transport package

🕔23.Jun 2015

A £1.6 billion programme to radically improve public transport links with the planned high speed rail network is set to be approved by West Midlands council leaders, reports Paul Dale.

Twenty local train, metro and bus projects will make it easier for passengers to reach HS2 stations in Birmingham city centre and at the NEC/Birmingham Airport in the biggest boost to the region’s transportation for years.

A meeting of the West Midlands Integrated Transport Authority will tomorrow (June 24) back the HS2 connectivity programme ahead of a period of public consultation over the summer.

The pace of delivering the programme and the budget implications will form part of devolution discussions the shadow West Midlands combined authority intends to hold with the Government.

Key schemes include:

  • Midland Metro tram line from Birmingham Curzon HS2 station to the NEC/Birmingham Airport via Eastside and Chelmsley Wood – £470 million.
  • Camp Hill Chords rail improvements providing additional capacity into central Birmingham on non-HS2 corridors, and providing south Birmingham, Tamworth, Nuneaton, Leicester, Hereford, Bristol and Cardiff with direct access into Birmingham Moor St Station and HS2 Curzon St Station – £240 million.
  • Water Orton local rail improvements addressing a significant capacity bottleneck to meet future passenger and freight growth demands and support the introduction of new local rail services between Birmingham Moor St Station, North Solihull, Tamworth, Burton and Nuneaton.
  • Reinstatement of Snow Hill platform four – £21 million.
  • Extension of the Midland Metro line from Line 1 in Wednesbury through to Brierley Hill, via Tipton, Dudley town centre and Merry Hill – £310 million.
  • Sprint bus routes from Solihull UK Central to Coventry and Longbridge to Birmingham Curzon – £99 million.
  • Bus rapid transit schemes from Birmingham city centre to Walsall along the A34, from Birmingham city centre to Bartley Green and from Coleshill Parkway to the HS2 interchange station at the NEC/Birmingham airport – £97 million.
  • Bus rapid transit scheme from Warwick to NEC/Birmingham Airport HS2 interchange – £44 million.
  • Shrewsbury to Wolverhampton rail line electrification – £60 million.

A report to the ITA by Laura Shoaf, strategic director of policy and strategy, recognises the importance of delivering radically improved national and international connectivity.

HS2 will release significant additional capacity which will to help deliver transformational connectivity between our towns and cities, thus unlocking appreciable economic benefits and facilitating access to local jobs and training.

The development of transport infrastructure and associated regeneration will import significant further benefits which are critical in supporting the HS2 Growth Strategy. Further, given the role of connectivity in delivering strategic economic sites and assets, and key local infrastructure including housing and employment sites, we would expect it to play a fundamental role in any future devolution deal with Government.

The connectivity programme is focused on our four connectivity strands and target actions over the short, medium and long term as we plan for the positive impact of HS2 including Phase 2 across the region and the UK generally. Our focused approach to forward planning and investment will effectively demonstrate our commitment to ensuring that the Midlands is HS2 ready.

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