West Midlands secures £1bn funding to expand transport network
A £1billion funding pot has been secured to expand the transport network in the West Midlands.
The money, expected to be announced by the Chancellor at next week's Budget and Spending Review, will be used to expand the tram, train, bus and cycle networks across the region - a range of "Transport for London-style improvements to speed up journey times, simplify fares and increase the number of services".
It's hoped the plan will also help drive a green and inclusive economic recovery in the West Midlands, and support the region's target to be net zero by 2041.
What exactly would the money be spent on in the West Midlands?
Planning and work would begin on four new Metro extensions in Birmingham, Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton - including the complete of the Wednesday to Brierley Hill extension in 2023.
New railway stations and bus interchanges would be built at Solihull, Sutton Coldfield and Aldridge.
Electric charging points for 1,000 vehicles would be installed, as well as ultra-fast charging facilities for electric heavy goods vehicles, vans and buses.
A range of new safe cycling routes would also be developed to encourage people to be more active on their commute.
The funding will cover five years from April 2022 - allocated from the Government's City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement.
Over the next few weeks Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) will work with the DfT, local councils and transport industry partners to develop a more detailed plan on where and how the money will be spent.
On Wednesday, Chancellor Rishi Sunak is set to pump £5.7billion into sustainable transport settlements for city regions, including the West Midlands, to boost productivity through train and station upgrades and the expansion of tram networks in cities outside of London.
He will also announce £1.2 billion of new funding to transform bus services, as part of the £3 billion committed by the Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
The Government says this will deliver Transport for London-style improvements to speed up journey times, simplify fares and increase the number of services outside of the capital.