The Midlands needs better connectivity to succeed on the world stage. As the transport pillar of the Midlands Engine, Midlands Connect’s landmark 25-year transport strategy makes the case for the improvements the region needs to thrive.
We believe transport improvements can change lives and grow economies. That’s why Midlands Connect’s strategy puts people and prosperity firmly at its heart.
The opportunity is huge. Improving connectivity in the Midlands could boost the UK economy by £5 billion a year and contribute to the Midlands Engine’s aim of creating 300,000 additional jobs by 2030.
We see the potential of HS2 to transform the Midlands’ economy, placing us at the heart of a new high-speed network. But we’re also working to make sure that services on the classic network get the investment they deserve, too, and that it integrates as closely as possible with new HS2 services.
We recognise the need to relieve chronic pressure on our nationally-important strategic road network. Through our Midlands Motorway Hub study and work on the A46, A5, A50 and A500, we will make the case that improvements will benefit not just the Midlands, but the whole country.
And as the UK explores new trading opportunities around the world, those improved road and rail links will increase access to our airports. Birmingham Airport – with more than 13 million passengers in 2017 – will be the country’s first and only HS2-connected airport by 2026, with huge growth potential. East Midlands Airport, already the UK’s largest for dedicated air-freight, has ambitious plans to triple its cargo operation to a million tonnes a year by 2040.
The Midlands is already succeeding on the world stage, but we can do more. Midlands Connect believes that building a world-class transport network can help us reach our potential, and that by working in partnership, we can prosper.
Maria Machancoses is director of Midlands Connect, for more information contact: MCAdmin@midlandsconnect.uk