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Wednesday 28 August 2019

Midlands Connect requests £596 million from government for 11 transformational road schemes

Midlands Connect submits priority “Major Road Network” schemes as part of £3.5 billion government fund


  • 11 “Major Road Network” and “Large Local Majors” road schemes across the Midlands will cut congestion, help create jobs and homes and encourage more walking and cycling;
  • Construction on all schemes can begin between 2020-2025 if funding is secured;
  • Government urged to allocate the Midlands the funding it deserves.


Plans for 11 transformational road schemes across the Midlands have been submitted to the government by Sub-national Transport Body Midlands Connect, with a funding request for £596 million to deliver them.

Midlands Connect was empowered by the Department for Transport (DfT) to work with the 22 councils in its partnership to identify priority schemes to improve local roads in the region, as part of a £3.5 billion national fund available from 2020-2025.

The fund covers upgrades to the Major Road Network (MRN), a new category of the busiest and most economically important local authority ‘A’ roads. The MRN was established by the government to focus on funding schemes that will reduce congestion, support housing and employment growth, encourage people to walk, cycle and use public transport, and provide better links to motorways and major trunk roads.

The £3.5 billion government fund also includes “Large Local Majors” (LLM) schemes, which focus on bigger upgrades to local roads.

MRN schemes must include a government funding request of £20-50 million each, and LLM schemes more than £50 million, with a local contribution of at least 15%.

Following detailed consultation and a rigorous assessment, Midlands Connect has submitted seven priority MRN schemes and four LLM schemes to the DfT for consideration.

Midlands Connect has asked the government to fund £596 million of the total £739 million estimated cost of the submitted schemes, with the remaining £143 million to be funded locally from a mixture of public and private sector sources. If successful, local authorities would deliver the physical infrastructure required.

Our priorities span the Midlands and include upgrades in Worcestershire, Warwickshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Solihull, Sandwell, Wolverhampton, Telford & Wrekin, Derbyshire, Herefordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.

The schemes include new bypasses, widening roads at congestion hotspots, improving junctions and roundabouts, new links between existing stretches of road and better pedestrian and cycling facilities. The 11 submitted priority schemes are as follows:


Major Road Network


Scheme Name

Local Highway Authority

A4123 Birchley Island, Sandwell

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

A38 Bromsgrove Route Enhancement Programme, Worcestershire

Worcestershire County Council

A426/A4071 Avon Mill/Hunters Lane Improvements, Warwickshire

Warwickshire County Council

Queensway Link, Telford

Telford & Wrekin Council

A511 Growth Corridor, Coalville

Leicestershire County Council

A454 between Wolverhampton and East Park Gateway

Wolverhampton City Council

A45/Coventry Road/Damson Parkway Junction, Solihull

Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council


Large Local Majors


Scheme Name

Local Highway Authority

North Hykeham Relief Road

Lincolnshire County Council

Chesterfield-Staveley Regeneration Route

Derbyshire County Council

City East Link Road

Stoke-on-Trent City Council

Hereford Bypass[1]

Herefordshire County Council



Midlands Connect’s submission to the government also contains recommendations to improve the funding process in the future. This includes the need to allocate development funding to councils whose squeezed budgets are hampering their ability to bring new schemes forward, and securing a specific regional funding allocation in line with the relative size and economic strength of each region, to help tailor a programme that gives schemes the best chance of success.

Simon Statham, head of technical programmes at Midlands Connect, said:

“A reliable transport network is essential to the success of the Midlands. The Major Road Network targets funding specifically at schemes that help improve job opportunities, open up new housing developments, and importantly address our environmental obligations as well. Objectives for the funding include understanding how a scheme will create improvements for all road users, not just cars, and improve air quality by reducing congestion.”

“By speaking with a collective voice on behalf of the Midlands, we believe each of the schemes submitted has provided all the evidence the government needs to fund them in full, and we expect to be celebrating a £600 million investment in to the region to help our local authorities get on and deliver this transformational programme of upgrades.”

CBI Regional Director Richard Butler said:

“To spur further economic growth in our region, businesses are crying out for more funding to be spent on infrastructure. If this money is secured it will allow businesses to grow and create jobs.”

“Improving major congestion pinch points on local roads also allows firms to import and export more easily as well as choose from a wider pool of labour.”

Midlands Connect is encouraging the government to allocate funding for shortlisted schemes as soon as possible to ensure their smooth delivery.



A full summary of our MRN/LLM submissions can be found here


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