Transport in the West Midlands

Transport for West Midlands

This blog post has been produced for the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce to provide industry insight on the findings of the Birmingham Economic Review.

The Birmingham Economic Review 2017 is produced by the University of Birmingham’s City-REDI and the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, with contributions from the West Midlands Growth Company. It is an in-depth exploration of the economy of England’s second city and is a high quality resource for organisations seeking to understand Birmingham to inform research, policy or investment decisions.

Click here to read the Review.

Regeneration and reinvention are apace, as the West Midlands transforms itself into an advanced manufacturing and high-end services economy in a place where people want to live and work. 

Our status as the nation’s manufacturing centre and our central UK location add to this need for effective transport to support growth. Transport is a vital  issue for the West Midlands.

Consideration of travel flows show that there is a complex mix of national, conurbation-wide and local journeys, covering a multitude of origins and destinations. An improved transport system will serve these existing flows better, but must also serve the West Midlands for its future challenges.

 There are five challenges for which an excellent transport system is an essential part of the solution:


  1. Economic Growth and Economic Inclusion
  2. Population Growth and Housing Development
  3. Environment
  4. Public Health
  5. Social Well-Being

TfWM has an approved long term strategy: “Movement for Growth”, and a supporting delivery plan to tackle these challenges. Under the leadership of the Mayor of the West Midlands, we are now beginning a period of sustained transformation of our transport system.

I've set out an overview of some of the main improvements we’ll achieve over the next five years and beyond. This period of significant construction will require us seeing “every journey matters” as we maintain network resilience in this delivery period.

Key transport improvements

National and Regional

Working with our partners in the East Midlands, our joint “Midlands Connect” inter-regional strategy sets out major improvements to the Motorway Box and the Midlands Rail Hub in central Birmingham. In line with this we will see Junction 10 of the M6 and Junction 6 of the M42 improved.


As part of our agreed HS2 Connectivity Package, we’ll build an integrated Metropolitan Rail and Rapid Transit Network: the new West Midlands rail franchise with its suburban rail improvements, Metro extensions in the Black Country, central and east Birmingham and Solihull, and the introduction of Bus Rapid Transit to the West Midlands for appropriate high volume corridors. 

We’ll also progress the delivery of an improved Key Route Network and high quality strategic cycle network.


Infrastructure improvements to assist faster and more reliable bus services will be achieved, supported by Bus Alliance service improvements.

Small scale measures are an important part of the overall delivery of the plan as well as the larger schemes. Minor works and maintenance programmes will continue across the West Midlands.

Smart Mobility

Informed by our current Mobility as a Service trial, we’ll be delivering simpler and more flexible payment mechanisms for public transport and increased access to more varied travel choice information

We’ll also see innovations in vehicle manufacturing and engineering and deploying smart technology for more efficient traffic management.

So we’re going to see real, tangible improvements coming on stream, commensurate to our economic ambitions and challenges. As the motto of the City of Birmingham says: “Forward”.