West Midlands Metro tram and bus (Photo WMCA)

UK: The West Midlands Combined Authority board agreed a ‘wide-ranging’ list of more than 50 preferred schemes to improve rail, tram, bus, road, cycling and walking routes on January 14.

The list includes the proposed Very Light Rail line in Coventry city centre, Aldridge station, developing the business case and plans for the further extension of the West Midlands Metro along Hagley Road and expansion of the tram depot in Wednesbury.

The list will now be submitted to the Department for Transport for final approval before it is published. The schemes would be developed over the next five years with funding from the £1·05bn City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement which was awarded by DfT last year, topped up with local contributions.

‘This unprecedented investment will allow us to deliver more than 50 exciting projects as we continue to revolutionise and de-carbonise public transport across the West Midlands’, said Mayor of the West Midlands and WMCA Chair Andy Street. ‘From an expanded West Midlands Metro network and new railway stations, to more cycle routes and better electric vehicle charging infrastructure, the schemes we have agreed today will benefit every area, with improved links for communities right across the West Midlands, while also tackling the climate change emergency by cutting down our carbon emissions. I know the team cannot wait to get started on these projects, and so once we have government approval we will press on with getting diggers in the ground and people into work.’