I am incredibly supportive of Midlands Connect’s commitment to deliver the Midlands Rail Hub, which would be the region’s biggest and most ambitious rail improvement scheme securing faster, better and more frequent connections across the Midlands.
The Midlands Rail Hub proposes building two ‘chords’, as well as 11 further engineering interventions throughout the region to deliver a massive step change in rail transport locally.
The West Chord would consist of improvements between Bordesley and Moor Street, allowing access to Birmingham Moor Street from South-West and Wales, and making sure services are improved on the Hereford and Worcester corridors.
The East Chord would create an access to Birmingham Moor Street from the East Midlands.
Other plans for engineering upgrades include:
- Snow Hill platform 4
- Moor Street platform 5
- Improvements around Kings Norton-Barnt Green
- Stoke Works junction
- A Malvern Wells turnback facility
- Ledbury – Shelwick partial double-tracking
- Moor Street platforms A & B (east side)
- Bordesley viaduct widening
- Water Orton remodelling
- Nuneaton to Wigston signalling headways
- Freight loops between Nuneaton and Leicester
The Midlands Rail Hub would be a key driver of growth, creating 1,600 jobs, 14 million extra seats and quicker journey times of up to 10 minutes. In addition, for every pound invested in the project, over £1.50 in benefits would be generated.
I have been working to ensure that this project is awarded the necessary funding, having:
- Arranged two briefings for MPs in my capacity as Co-Chair of the Midlands Engine APPG to secure their support
- Written to the Chief Secretary to the Treasury asking for his support in delivering funding for the project’s Full Business Case and commitment to delivering both the East and West Chords of the project at the same time, which is the most cost-effective approach
- Written to local business encouraging them to participate in Midlands Connects’ survey and support the case for funding
- Responded to the East Midlands APPG’s call for evidence into the wider social and economic benefits of major infrastructure investment in the region calling for the APPG to give the proposals their backing
- Requested a meeting with the Chief Secretary to the Treasury to discuss the business case further
Going forward, I will continue to make the case for this project to be fully funded and pursue a meeting with the Chief Secretary to the Treasury.