IMPROVED passenger journeys and better connections for rail freight form part of Midlands Connect’s plans for the future of transport in the Midlands in Britain.

A new report “Greener, Fairer, Stronger” was launched in Birmingham on April 1. This claims that a lack of mobility is holding back the region’s economic growth and productivity.

As well as plans surrounding road and decarbonisation for all transport modes there are ambitions to improve rail capacity and introduce a “tap and cap” smart ticketing solution for passengers using buses, light rail systems, bicycle hire and the rail network across the region.

Midlands Connects claims that if the projects are delivered in full, they will help provide up to £1.9bn more in regional economic output per year by 2040, rising to £4.1bn per year by 2061 and support ambitions for 334,000 additional jobs in the region.

The rail priorities in the plan are:

  • establishing a direct rail service between Coventry, Leicester and Nottingham
  • delivering “early win” journey time improvements on several corridors including Birmingham - Shrewsbury, Birmingham - Nuneaton and Nottingham - Lincoln routes
  • delivering shorter journey times between Birmingham and Leicester in the short-term whilst looking into longer-term provision of additional services
  • acceleration of the Midlands Rail Hub schemes at Kings Norton and Birmingham Snow Hill station
  • continuing to develop business cases for larger infrastructure investment projects including Midlands Rail Hub, and
  • improving connectivity between the Midlands and northern England, feeding into government’s consultation on the future of the High Speed 2 eastern leg from the east Midlands to Leeds.

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