Plans for 11 transformational road schemes across the Midlands have been submitted to the government by sub-national transport body Midlands Connect, with a funding request for £596m to deliver them.
Midlands Connect was empowered by the Department for Transport (DfT) to work with the 22 councils in its partnership to identify priority schemes to improve local roads in the region, as part of a £3.5bn national fund available from 2020-2025.
Now, following what they describe as detailed consultation, Midlands Connect has submitted seven priority major and four local schemes to the DfT for consideration. They have asked the government to fund £596m of the total £739m estimated cost of the submitted schemes, with the remaining £143m to be funded locally from a mixture of public and private sector sources. If successful, local authorities would deliver the physical infrastructure required.
The bid’s priorities span the Midlands and include upgrades in Worcestershire, Warwickshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Solihull, Sandwell, Wolverhampton, Telford & Wrekin, Derbyshire, Herefordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.
The schemes include new bypasses, widening roads at congestion hotspots, improving junctions and roundabouts, new links between existing stretches of road and better pedestrian and cycling facilities.
Simon Statham, head of technical programmes at Midlands Connect, said: “The Major Road Network targets funding specifically at schemes that help improve job opportunities, open up new housing developments, and importantly address our environmental obligations as well. By speaking with a collective voice on behalf of the Midlands, we believe each of the schemes submitted has provided all the evidence the government needs to fund them in full, and we expect to be celebrating a £600m investment in to the region to help our local authorities get on and deliver this transformational programme of upgrades.”
Richard Butler, CBI regional director, said: “To spur further economic growth in our region, businesses are crying out for more funding to be spent on infrastructure. If this money is secured it will allow businesses to grow and create jobs.”
Midlands Connect say they are encouraging the government to allocate funding for shortlisted schemes as soon as possible to ensure their smooth delivery.