Sprint bus upgrades can begin after West Midlands handed £1bn funding - The Solihull Observer

Sprint bus upgrades can begin after West Midlands handed £1bn funding

Solihull Editorial 6th Apr, 2022   0

WORK to upgrade the Sprint bus network in Solihull can now begin after the region was handed £1.05billion.

The grant was confirmed by the Department for Transport (DfT) to transform road, bus, rail, tram, cycling and walking infrastructure across to the West Midlands.

The Sprint project is just one that West Midlands Combined Authority leaders have already drawn up as priority to drive the decarbonisation of transport, target investment into areas of poor connectivity and support inclusive economic growth.

The project costing £56 million will see phase two of the Sprint bus priority corridor with more bus lanes and junction upgrades along the full route between Solihull and Walsall.

Phase one along the A34 and A45 in Birmingham is nearing completion.

Other projects that can now start up include a search for sites to create a network of 10 electric vehicle charging stations across the West Midlands, costing £24million and extensions and upgrades to the Metro network.

The grant includes funding for the development of new bus lanes and priority routes.

Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) say around £254million will go directly towards schemes which enable active travel, the collective name for cycling and walking.

The City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement money, topped up with local funding, will deliver £1.3 billion investment over the next five years.

The DfT also confirmed it has earmarked additional funding of up to £87.9million towards the further development of the region’s Bus Service Improvement Plan.

Anne Shaw, executive director of TfWM, said: “This is the largest single investment in our transport infrastructure and will deliver a wide range of projects across our region including bus priority routes, railway stations, safe cycle routes and electric vehicle charging facilities.

“We have, with our local authority partners and backed by Government, developed an investment programme which will support our targets of delivering a green transport revolution, to better connect our communities and support new jobs and housing.”

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