Regional resilience for West Midlands

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Concept image for Birmingham's Curzon Street HS2 station.

In anticipation of congestion caused by future major construction projects, the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) has approved its Regional Resilience Plan.

Major rail projects don’t only affect train passengers, they can also cause disturbance to surrounding roads, interfering with traffic flows.

Road construction, sewer works and telecommunication improvements can all have the same effect.

So Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), the combined authority’s transportation body, has worked with stakeholders such as the Police & Crime Commissioner and local business leaders to draw up plans to reduce the disruptive influence of major construction projects.

Councillor Roger Lawrence, lead member for transport, stated: “All partners have worked very hard to gather evidence and come up with actual solutions to this issue, which is a continuing challenge for our region’s movement and economic activity.

“Projects are planned by Highways England, Network Rail and a number of local authorities, all of which are likely to cause short term and long term disruption for commuters and businesses.”

Police and crime commissioner David Jamieson said: “It is crucial for the region’s economy and ultimately for jobs and growth that people and goods can get to where they need to be quickly and efficiently.

“HS2 is going to bring great benefits to the region, but it is also important that its construction does not bring us to a standstill. These plans will help to make sure we have the necessary resilience in the network to guard against that.”

The report wasn’t just looking at the effect of HS2 Phase 1. It also considered planned maintenance works at the M5 Oldbury Viaduct, Network Rail upgrades, HS2 connectivity projects and the extensions being delivered for Midland Metro.

Immediate priorities set out in the plan include forming a multi-agency network resilience partnership, which will led by TfWM, and a West Midlands regional integrated command centre.

Report by Nigel Wordsworth

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