The West Midlands will benefit from more frequent trains, more capacity and faster journeys in a major funding boost to create stronger public transport networks.

A total of £36 billion in savings from HS2 will be reinvested in hundreds of transport projects across the country, delivering more buses, reopening railway stations and ensuring major funding for new and improved roads.

Today (4 October 2023), we have announced the Network North plan, which will still see HS2delivered between Birmingham and Euston in central London.

But every penny that would have been spent extending the route will instead be redirected into roads, rail and buses to drive economic growth and provide jobs.

Network North will build better connectivity across the North and the Midlands with faster journey times, increased capacity and more frequent, reliable services.

We will deliver Phase One of HS2 between Curzon St and Euston. This will cut the journey times from Birmingham to central London from around 80 minutes currently to 49 minutes. This will add extra capacity to the West Coast Main Line, potentially supporting freight growth or additional passenger services. This could remove bottlenecks into and out of London, benefitting places like Northampton, Milton Keynes and Watford.

The Midlands Rail Hub will also be delivered in full with £1.75 billion of increased investment to speed up journey times, increase capacity and boost frequency of services across the region.

It will benefit more than 50 stations, which between them reach more than 7 million people, including those living in Cheltenham, Gloucester, Hereford, Malvern, Worcester, Tamworth, Burton, Derby, Nottingham, Nuneaton and Leicester.

Services on most routes will increase by between 50% and 100%. Birmingham’s Cross-City line will be given a turn-up-and-go service with a train every 10 minutes.

The number of trains between Birmingham and Leicester will be doubled from 2 to 4 per hour, while additional trains are planned between Birmingham and Bristol. Bromsgrove should also see an additional 3 trains per hour. 

Further benefits for the West Midlands will include: 

  • over £1 billion more for the West Midlands Mayoral budget to fund the second phase of the Wednesbury to Brierley Hill metro extension, contribute to the costs of a mass transit system from East Birmingham to Solihull and fund the building of Aldridge Station
  • communities reconnected by reopening closed Beeching lines, including the Stoke to Leek line and the Oswestry to Gobowen line, with a new stop at Park Hall. A new station will be built at Meir, Stoke-on-Trent, on the existing Crewe to Derby line 
  • £100 million will be shared across the North and Midlands to support the development and rollout of London-style contactless and smart ticketing, supporting seamless travel by enabling contactless or smartcard payment
  • a brand new £2.2 billion fund to transform local transport in every part of the Midlands outside the mayoral combined authority areas and the new East Midlands combined authority – rural counties such as Shropshire, smaller cities like Leicester and towns such as Evesham. This could pay for smaller, more demand-driven buses in rural areas and funding for greener bus fleets, as well as funding the refurbishment of Kidsgrove and Longport stations, near Stoke-on-Trent
  • a further £250 million will fully fund 10 smaller road schemes in the Midlands including the Shrewsbury North Western Relief Road and the A4123 Birchley Island, near Oldbury. A Midlands Road Fund worth nearly £650 million will be launched for new road schemes
  • £230 million will be invested in increasing the frequency of bus services in the Midlands, which could be spent on new bus stops around Telford and park and ride upgrades elsewhere in Shropshire and new bus lanes in Herefordshire
  • £2.2 billion for the Midlands to combat the potholes causing misery for drivers
  • the popular £2 bus fare will also be extended until the end of December 2024 instead of rising to £2.50 as planned