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Working with Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), West Midlands Rail Executive and Network Rail, we have developed our Midlands Rail Hub plans, which will add significant capacity to the network and improve connectivity between the Black Country, the East Midlands and the South West.
The arrival of HS2 services will also release considerable capacity on the West Coast Main Line. We will develop a business case to use this space in the timetable for more train services between Wolverhampton, Telford and Shrewsbury, as well as working with the new West Coast Partnership franchise to at least maintain existing fast services to London.
Midlands Connect’s bold 20-year strategy for the Midlands Motorway Hub is focused on improving motorway journeys in and around the Black Country, supporting jobs and enhancing connections.
The recommendations include improving digital information to divert vehicles onto the M6 Toll during peak times and incidents, and proposals to manage traffic between M6 Junctions 3 (Coventry) and 11 (M6 Toll). We are also calling for the earliest possible construction of the planned M54 to M6/M6 (Toll) Link Road to help traffic flow and boost the economy west of Birmingham.
Our Motorway Hub study recommends looking at how improved connectivity to the west of Birmingham could ease congestion, increase capacity, stimulate much-needed economic growth and facilitate house building. We are also undertaking an A5 corridor study to make the case for investment on the route between M6 J12 and M1 J18 – an alternative to the M6 for journeys between the Black Country and the East Midlands.
Working with partners at TfWM and ITSO, Midlands Connect has helped fund a trial that enables tram and bus passengers to use smartphones or wearable technology to pay for journeys. Lessons from this trial will support the rollout of this technology across the region, with the ultimate aim of setting up a Midlands-wide smart ticketing system.
Corin Crane, Chief Executive,
Black Country Chamber of Commerce
new homes expected by 2026
advanced manufacturing jobs (2016)