Midlands Connect consortium, made by 22 local authorities and regional transport authorities, submitted to government an up to GBP 2 billion (EUR 2.23 billion) proposal for new and improved infrastructure, to be completed between 2024-2033.
The strategy, which will transform east-west connections on the Midlands’ rail network, outlines plans to build 15 pieces of new and improved infrastructure to enable 24 extra passenger trains every hour on the regional network, reduce journey times, make space to shift 4,320 lorries’ worth of freight from the road to the railway every day and supercharge the economy by bringing the East and West Midlands closer together.
The plans include the re-establishment of direct services between Coventry, Leicester & Nottingham for the first time since 2004, as well as the introduction of extra commuter train services on different rail routes. The strategy also highlights an increase access to HS2, with Birmingham Moor Street located next to the new high-speed station at Curzon Street and 36 additional freight paths a day.
“This investment must happen alongside delivering HS2 in its entirety, from the West Midlands to the East Midlands and on to the north of England. The next Prime Minister of this country must not ignore the Midlands, the 10 million people who live here, or our £220 billion annual contribution to the UK economy. Now is the time for the government to prove to the Midlands it’s listening to us,” John Peace, Chair of Midlands Connect, said.