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Bosses sign off on £17.4m for Birchley Island and Dudley Interchange

By Pete Madeley | Dudley | News | Published:

Council bosses have signed off on a £43 million funding boost to kick start a series of major transport projects in the West Midlands.

Councillor Lawrence says the transport projects will 'keep the region moving'.

The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) backed plans for 10 schemes at a meeting today.

They include £10m for the Dudley interchange, linking the town's bus station with the upcoming Metro line, and £7.4m to revamp the Birchley Island roundabout in Sandwell.

Councillor Roger Lawrence, WMCA portfolio holder for transport and Wolverhampton Council leader, said: “These are major transport projects and tackle notorious bottlenecks such as Birchley Island in Oldbury.

"These projects are all designed to keep the region moving.

“This investment in sustainable transport will benefit commuters, improve air quality and support the wider economic growth of the West Midlands.”

Other schemes are £6m for cycling routes, £5m to improve walking links between transport hubs in Birmingham city centre, and £1.5m on a new Regional Transport Coordination Centre.

West Midlands Mayor Andy Street, said: “We know that may of our residents face daily frustrations as they travel and commute throughout the West Midlands and improving our transport network is a priority.

“So we have agreed, with our transport and local authority partners, to help fund ten projects from across the whole region, which will make a real difference to residents whether they travel by car, bus, rail or cycle.”

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Sandwell Council has pushed for improvements to Birchley Island for years, and secured £16.1m towards the scheme from the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership earlier this year.

The changes will create a 'hamburger' junction, with a new road passing through the island to ease congestion.

The work could start next year, after repairs to the M5 between junctions 1 and 2 is completed.

The cash for the schemes comes from the £250m Transforming Cities Fund, which was awarded to the WMCA by the Government last year.

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A total of £207m will fund the Midland Metro extension between Wednesbury and Brierley Hill.

Pete Madeley

By Pete Madeley
@P_Madeley_Star

Political Editor for the Express & Star. Responsible for local and national political stories, opinion, comment and analysis.

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