The West Midlands has been handed £1 billion funding to expand the region’s transport network and support the installation of green technology. The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) has secured the money from the government’s City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement (CRSTS) fund.
Hundreds of millions of pounds will now be used to kickstart a range of projects, including Metro tram extensions and electric vehicle charging points, in a bid to decarbonise the region’s transport system and create jobs.
“We’ve secured more than £1bn of government investment to continue our transport revolution here in the West Midlands. It is the largest single transport sum we have ever received, and I know the team cannot wait to press on and start getting diggers in the ground on some truly game-changing schemes,” Andy Street, the mayor of the West Midlands.
“From more Metro lines and train stations, to new bus routes and EV charging points, this cash will help us to continue to build a clean, green transport network that connects communities and tackles the climate emergency.”
It is anticipated that 1,000 electric vehicle charging points will be installed, along with ultra-fast charging facilities for electric heavy goods vehicles, vans and buses. A raft of new safe cycling routes will also be developed.
This funding will cover five years from April 2022 and, over the next few weeks, Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), which is part of the WMCA, will work with the DfT, local councils and transport industry partners to develop a detailed plan for investment and green technology.
Councillor Ian Ward, WMCA portfolio holder for transport and leader of Birmingham City Council, added: “The people and communities of the West Midlands must be at the heart of the government’s levelling up agenda and, of course, we would have liked to have seen more funding for our ambitions for the region.
“That said, it will nevertheless help us make a real difference to our communities, as we work on better connections to improve access to jobs and attract further investment. Projects like the extension of our Metro network will also encourage more people to leave their cars at home, improving the air we breathe and we’re committed to making this funding work for the people of this region.”