Birchley Island revamp and Dudley Bus Station overhaul backed by cash injection

A congestion-busting plan to revamp Birchley Island and a revamp for Dudley Bus Station have been backed with a multi-million pound boost.

Birchley Island is one of the Black Country's biggest congestion hotspots
Birchley Island is one of the Black Country's biggest congestion hotspots

Plans for major changes to the Birchley Island roundabout have moved a step closer after a £7.4 million funding pledge.

Long-awaited work to make the island, close to Junction 2 of the M5 in Oldbury, a ‘hamburger’ roundabout could start as early as next year, under plans unveiled by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA).

It came as bosses prepared to sign off on funding for £43m worth of transport schemes around the region – which also includes £10m for the Dudley interchange to link the town's bus station with the upcoming Metro line.

The 'hamburger' island will see a new road pass through the middle of it to ease congestion

Sandwell Council has pushed for improvements to Birchley Island for years.

The project gained traction in June when the authority secured £16.1m towards the scheme from the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership.

The roundabout is one of the most congested spots in the region and has been the scene of 32 serious accidents over the last five years.

The changes will create a new road passing through the island to ease congestion.

Dudley Bus Station

West Midlands Mayor Andy Street said: “I know Birchley Island has been a major challenge for commuters, particularly those travelling between the Black Country and Birmingham with peak times particularly bad for motorists.

“In my manifesto, I promised I would help find the funding for the improvements we need here.

“The Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership and Sandwell Council deserve huge credit for getting this scheme to this stage after many years of needing it.

“This won’t solve our region’s congestion issues – to do that we need a shift to other forms of transport and we are making huge strides in delivering Metro extensions and new railway lines.

"This is why the funding for the new interchange in Dudley is so important, creating a public transport hub for the town centre combining buses and the new Metro line.”

The West Midlands Metro line running past Dudley Zoo

The Birchley Island scheme is likely to start after repair work to the M5 between junctions 1 and 2 is completed. The delayed project is scheduled to end in Spring.

The cash forms part of the Government-backed Transforming Cities Fund, which handed the combined authority an initial £250m to boost transport.

The Wednesbury to Brierley Hill Metro scheme is costing £207m, with other projects in the works including £3m on a new transport coordination centre and 'real time' updates, £6m on a cycling scheme and £2m on highways.

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