Further Midland Metro extension being eyed by Centro

A MIDLAND Metro extension from Birmingham’s New Street station to Five Ways tops a wish list drawn up by regional transport authority Centro.

It would also like to see a Metro loop in Wolverhampton and a line from Wednesbury to Dudley.

Centro chief executive Geoff Inskip told TheBusinessDesk.com recently that the Midland Metro extension – currently being built – which will link Snow Hill and New Street stations in Birmingham is only the start as far as he is concerned.

“Businesses tell us they want it to go up to Five Ways and through the enterprise zone and the LEP {local enterprise partnership} we are getting commitment for that support from Stephenson Street right through to Centenary Square,” he said.

“It is just a question of making it happen rather than if.

“We are already planning it now. We are working on the basis that once Stephenson Street to Centenary Square is up and running we can just keep it going {to Five Ways}.”

The transport authority also wants to re-instate the fourth platform at Snow Hill station.

These are some of the priorities over the next four years for Centro which has unveiled a transport blueprint that it hopes will underpin economic growth and job creation.

“Towards a World Class Integrated Transport Network” sets out how investing in the public transport infrastructure and freight networks can help attract business, generate economic activity, create jobs, cut carbon and congestion and support new housing.

Centro proposes key targets for the next two decades including half of all journeys in the West Midlands being made by public transport, cycling or walking.

The blueprint includes an integrated transport network with real time passenger information systems and smartcard ticketing, an expanded and integrated rail, rapid transit and bus network, a network of ‘smart routes’ to smooth and speed up traffic on major corridors and managed motorways with improved junctions.

The Metropolitan Freight Strategy sets out a long-term plan for the efficient movement of freight both by road and rail. It includes schemes and initiatives needed to support West Midlands businesses in their national and international trade as well as addressing the impacts of freight movements on people and communities.

Key schemes include the Stourbridge to Lichfield rail corridor, new managed motorway schemes and the encouragement of greater use of the M6 Toll by HGVs.

Inskip said: “It is a first step in establishing how we can achieve a transport network that is attractive, efficient and easy to use and will enhance connectivity and stimulate growth.”


Source : Thebusinessdesk

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