Public meeting in Wolverhampton over long term transport plans

City’s chance to have its say on Movement for Growth plans to boost transport links.

Wolverhampton could see the development of SPRINT rapid transit to the i54, direct regular rail services to Walsall and improved motorway junctions under a strategic transport plan aimed at delivering economic growth and the ability to transform the West Midlands.

The possible benefits to the city 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 20 years, there will be a public meeting about the plans at Wolverhampton Civic Centre on Wednesday September 9th between 6pm and 7pm. The meeting is the first 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 and leader of Wolverhampton City Council, 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.

Sprint – a bus which operates in the same way as a tram – has been identified by city planners as a future option for linking Wolverhampton with the i54 business park although funding would have to be obtained further to any future approval.

They have also put forward reintroducing regular rail services from the city to Walsall and improved junctions for the M6 as schemes that could be be developed under the plan.

Sprint has also been identified by planners at Dudley and Sandwell Councils for linking to the Midland Metro via Brierley Hill, Dudley and Wednesbury.

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 on the plan.

The meetings are:

· Wednesday 9 September, 6pm to 7pm, Wolverhampton Council Chamber, Civic Centre, Wolverhampton

· 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