Rail line to re­open as part of £3.4bn trans­port vi­sion

Birmingham Post - - NEWS - Neil Elkes Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Cor­re­spon­dent

WEST Mid­lands trans­port chiefs have backed a £3.4 bil­lion shop­ping list of new rail and metro lines, cy­cle routes and road up­grades – in­clud­ing the long-awaited re­open­ing of the Camp Hill Chords and Mose­ley rail line.

And they con­firmed many projects on the plan, to be en­acted over the next decade, are ei­ther wholly or part funded – most through HS2 spin-off and de­vo­lu­tion fund­ing from Gov­ern­ment.

The plan in­cludes projects al­ready in the pipeline, such as the ex­ten­sion of the Metro Tram from Dig­beth to Birm­ing­ham Air­port, as well as con­firm­ing the am­bi­tion to re­open the Camp Hill Chords and Sutton Park rail lines.

West Mid­lands Mayor Andy Street said a suc­cess­ful Com­mon­wealth Games bid could also be the cat­a­lyst to bring for­ward some of the projects like the re­open­ing of the Camp Hill Chords.

He has al­ready set a tar­get of get­ting work on the city cen­tre to Mose­ley rail line started by the next elec­tion in 2020.

Now he is hopes to use the 2022 Com­mon­wealth Games as a tar­get date for this and a range of other projects in­clud­ing the rapid bus route on the A34 be­tween Birm­ing­ham and Wal­sall.

Re­gional trans­port chief and Wolver­hamp­ton Coun­cil leader Roger Lawrence said: “Trans­port is key as we work to en­sure the West Mid­lands punches its weight na­tion­ally and glob­ally. HS2 will bring us closer to Lon­don and the UK’s other big city re­gions and make us a world-class place in which to do busi­ness.”

“Now that this blue­print has been ap­proved we can get to work in putting it into ac­tion. Th­ese are ex­cit­ing schemes that will trans­form trans­port in our re­gion and steer in­vest­ment here to cre­ate new jobs and homes, build­ing on the sig­nif­i­cant growth and de­vel­op­ment that is al­ready hap­pen­ing through HS2.”

The con­fir­ma­tion of the plan fol­lows wide pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion which in par­tic­u­lar saw a huge call for fur­ther in­vest­ment in cy­cle routes.

A £165 mil­lion Lo­cal Cy­cle Net­work pro­gramme has been added to plan as a re­sult.

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