Black Country council to host transport consultation

Public to have say on Movement for Growth plans in Sandwell.

A Sprint rapid transit system, a strategic cycle network and improvements to junctions on the M5 could be on their way to Sandwell under a strategic transport plan aimed at delivering economic growth and the ability to transform the West Midlands.

The possible benefits to the borough form part of Movement for Growth, a long-term transport strategy developed by the West Midlands Integrated Transport Authority.

Mapping out projected developments for the region over the next twenty years, there will be a public meeting about the plans between 6pm-7pm on Tuesday 15th September in the Council Chamber at Sandwell Council House in Freeth Street, Oldbury.

The meeting is one of seven across the West Midlands throughout September and October which form part of a 12 week public consultation process.

Cllr Roger Lawrence, the chair of the ITA, said: “These plans allow each constituent local authority within the West Midlands to develop individual strategies to suit their needs yet which also fit in with this bigger picture for the region.

“Transport plays a vital part in the prosperity of this region, both now and in the future, and I would urge people to let us know what they think so that we can use those views to help shape where we are going.”

Each of the seven councils within the ITA has, along with along with Centro, the region’s public transport delivery body, examined how transport links can be improved under Movement for Growth.

These plans allow each constituent local authority to develop individual strategies to suit their needs yet which also fit in with the bigger picture for the region.

Sprint – a bus which operates in the same way as a tram – has been identified by Sandwell planners as a future option for linking the Midland Metro at Wednesbury to Brierley Hill via Dudley, although funding would have to be obtained further to any future approval.

Improved junctions at the M5 and a cycle network linking key areas throughout Sandwell have also been identified.

Other benefits in the Black Country would be improved junctions on the M5 and M6, and improved rail links.

All the schemes are based on factors such as the strategic economic plans of local enterprise partnerships and high speed rail (HS2) connectivity plans.

As part of the public consultation process people can give their views by filling in an online questionnaire or by attending the public meetings.

At the public meetings a short presentation will be made by officers from the ITA setting out the main points of the plan.

There will then be an opportunity for people to raise questions and comment.

The meetings are:

· Tuesday 15 September, 6pm to 7pm, Sandwell Council Chamber, Council House, Oldbury
· Thursday 17 September, 6pm to 7pm, Birmingham Council House, Rooms 3 and 4
· Monday 21 September, 6pm to 7pm, Dudley Council House
· Wednesday 23 September, 6pm to 7pm, Coventry Council House, Committee Room 1
· Monday 28 September, 6pm to 7pm, Walsall Council House, Conference Rooms 1 and 2
· Thursday 1 October, 6pm to 7pm, Solihull Civic Suite