GOVERNMENT plans to invest in existing rail lines have been welcomed by the West Midlands Mayor.
Plans to spend £96billion on the country’s rail network were revealed as the eastern leg of HS2 – between East Midlands Parkway and Leeds – was scrapped.
In the Integrated Rail Plan (IRP) published on November 18 it stated the Midlands Main Line would be fully electrified and gave support to the Midlands Rail Hub.
Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “[This] announcement is a huge vote of confidence in the West Midlands, and a major step towards my 2040 transport plan.
“Not only has the Government confirmed that HS2 will connect Birmingham and Solihull to London and Manchester, but it has also confirmed a new high speed line to link the East and West Midlands.
“This will halve journey times to Nottingham, and provide passengers with much improved capacity and connectivity East to West.”
He added the other big prize was the Government’s support in principle for Midlands Rail Hub.
Mr Street said: “We now have the very real prospect of extending the Camp Hill line to link with the rest of the network at Kings Norton junction, creating additional capacity at Snow Hill station to serve the Black Country and Solihull, re-instating the direct link between Coventry and Leicester and perhaps most exciting, the chance of a third cross-city line that would connect Camp Hill to a re-opened Sutton Park Line.
“When you then consider the improved links Midlands Rail Hub will create to cities such as Bristol, Cardiff, and Worcester, it becomes clear just what a significant announcement this is.”