West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) is to drive forward over £4bn of transport infrastructure investmnet over the coming decade. Working through its new transport arm, Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), the authority, which comes into being later this month, will prioritise the building of tram extensions, new suburban rail lines, cycle routes and better motorways. Work will concentrate on putting in place a fully integrated transport system of bus, rail, tram and road underpinned by smart technology. This will include real time information and paperless ticket travel using smartphone technology and contactless bank cards in addition to the existing Swift smartcard.
Leader of the City of Wolverhampton Council and West Midlands lead for transport, Cllr Roger Lawrence, said, ‘We believe the new combined authority working through Transport for West Midlands will bring a step change in the way transport infrastructure is funded and delivered. The devolution deal we have struck with government means we now have far greater freedom to decide for ourselves and deliver those transport schemes that give us the biggest bang for our buck in terms of supporting economic growth and passenger benefits. Developing an efficient and fully integrated transport network is fundamental in achieving the combined authority’s ambition to deliver an overall investment package that can unlock £8bn and create up to half a million jobs over the next 30 years.’