Major schemes such as the Midland Metro extension and a link between the M54 and M6 Toll will be fast-tracked by council leaders under plans for 50 authorities in the West Midlands to work together on transport projects.
Council leaders met in Wolverhampton to sign an agreement to work together to get funding as Government budgets continue to shrink. They are concerned that if each authority works on its own area in isolation, they will miss out on grants as they compete with each other for cash.
It was claimed that for every pound spent on transport in the north east, just 72p is spent in the West Midlands.
Councils believe that if they present a united front on schemes such as the £268 million Midland Metro extension between Wednesbury and Brierley Hill, even those where the Metro will not be based, stand a better chance of convincing the Government to provide funding.
Council leaders are now going to meet up to twice a year to agree priorities so that the region is not competing with itself for limited transport funding from the Government. Examples include seeking funding to create a £300m link between the M54 and M6 Toll by providing a northbound slip road from the M54 onto the M6. While the land is in Staffordshire, it is seen as a priority for Wolverhampton.
Wolverhampton City Council leader Councillor Roger Lawrence said that the decision of Jaguar Land Rover to build a new £355m engine plant at the i54 business park was helped by the council working with neighbour Staffordshire to provide a new £36.7m motorway junction.