Government invests to help region’s traffic

West Midlands Combined Authority gets £5.84 million to boost local transport network.

Improved roads, reduced congestion and better journey times are the target in a £5.84 million programme of improvements underway across the West Midlands.

The work is being done on behalf of the West Midlands Combined Authority following funding from the National Productivity Investment Fund programme. The money is the WMCA’s share of a £210 million national pot set up by the government last year towards improving transport networks.

The WMCA programme is focused primarily on the upgrade of traffic signal technology, bus lane enforcement and the repair of a bridge to help enable efficient operation of the network in Solihull during HS2 construction. Locations include along the A34 in Solihull, the A4124 in Wolverhampton, and A461 in Walsall. It is also being used in schemes such as Keeping Coventry Moving and to improve infrastructure around Merry Hill in Brierley Hill.

Cllr Roger Lawrence, lead member for transport for the WMCA, said: “Congestion costs this region billions every year in lost productivity so it is to every road user’s benefit that we invest in keeping traffic moving. This money is being used in those schemes we feel will deliver the maximum return and ensure our roads are fit for the future.”

The money will be spent on the following schemes:

· Phase 1 of the Bromford gyratory scheme (£569,000)
· Holloway Circus (£700,000)
· Journey Time Reliability to City Growth Area (£530,000)
· Bus Lane Enforcement (£98,000)

· Keeping Coventry Moving (£700,000)

· Brierley Hill Strategic Centre (£660,000)

· A34 Birmingham Road/A4041 Queslett Road and Newtown Road (£273,000)

· Solihull Bridge five year programme (£600,000) and A34 Stratford Road Growth Corridor (£616,500)

· A461 Eastern Opportunity Area (£960,000)

· A4124 traffic signal upgrades and bus priority (£500,000)

The work is being carried out by the constituent authorities of the WMCA and will take place over the current financial year. The WMCA has also recently submitted additional bids on behalf of the seven constituent authorities for further funding from the next round of the NPIF. The outcome of this is expected to be announced in the autumn.