A NEW transport blueprint to underpin economic growth and job creation was unveiled for the West Midlands.
‘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.
The plan also 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, bringing the region in line with the way people move around Europe’s most prosperous cities.
To encourage people to choose sustainable transport options, the Vision includes;
l An integrated transport network with real time passenger information systems and smartcard ticketing
l An expanded and integrated rail, rapid transit and bus network
l Encouraging more cycling and walking
l A network of ‘Smart Routes’ to smooth and speed up traffic on major corridors
l Managed motorways with improved junctions;
The blueprint, which has been drawn up by transport authority Centro, emphasises the need to develop urban policies and public transport in an integrated way in order to achieve maximum economic benefit.
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.
Centro chief executive, Geoff Inskip, said: “I would like to thank all those who responded to our consultation. 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 and jobs.”
The plan can be viewed online at http://www.centro.org.uk/corporateinformation/publications.aspx.