Freight & Highways

The Heart of the Network

As a fundamental element of our plans for devolution, we are investing in our infrastructure, ready for the arrival of HS2, and to ensure that goods and people are able to move seamlessly throughout the West Midlands.

West Midlands Freight Strategy

Freight and logistics are vital to our economic activity and development. They support people and businesses in their daily activities, ranging from deliveries to homes and shops through transferring goods to and from factories or getting supplies to offices.

The approved West Midlands Freight Strategy and Implementation plan helps to provide TfWM with the tools to work together with businesses, and a programme to deliver a West Midlands that shines as a beacon for best practice in urban logistics management, providing:

  • Improved access to the West Midlands by road and rail;
  • New ways of managing deliveries which provide businesses and residents with high quality access to goods and services;
  • A range of techniques to reduce emissions, noise, and congestion caused by goods vehicles;
  • Support for the introduction of very low emissions or zero emissions delivery systems; and
  • Commitment to deliver these improvements through a partnership with businesses and government.

The Devolution Deal also provides new powers to support policies and actions across all modes and all transport users. Efficient logistics is recognised as being a key issue for TfWM.

Birmingham City Council has created a toolkit to support the development and implementation of Delivery and Servicing Plans (DSPs) by businesses and organisations operating in Birmingham. The aims of the toolkit, which can be downloaded here, are to:

  • help businesses make more efficient and reliable deliveries 
  • improve the quality of the environment around businesses by reducing congestion, collisions and emissions (including moving freight on low emission vehicles); ultimately making the area more attractive to people who live, work and visit there.
  • help business to understand more about delivery and servicing activities and yield a number of financial, environmental and operational benefits for the local area.

Key Route Network

A Key Route Network (KRN) of local authority roads has been developed and identified in collaboration with the combined authority's seven constituent authorities. The KRN is to be managed and maintained by TfWM on behalf the WMCA and the Mayor of the West Midlands.

The KRN will serve the main routes people and freight moves across the metropolitan area, and provide connections to the national strategic road network. It will also serve local main roads and provide good access for businesses reliant on road transport.

National Productivity Investment Fund (NPIF) Bids

As part of the Autumn Statement 2016 the government announced the creation of a National Productivity Investment Fund (NPIF). This is intended to support areas that are important for boosting productivity, such as transport, housing, digital communications and research and development. The funding is intended to tackle barriers to growth, such as congestion on transport networks.

In April 2017, the Department for Transport (DfT) announced a bidding round for NPIF in 2018/19 and 2019/20 with a total of £490m made available. Bids were invited to be submitted by 30 June 2017. The funding is for local roads, road based public transport, walking and cycling. The main theme is tackling congestion, with an emphasis on immediate impacts and quick delivery.

The overall aims of NPIF are as follows:  

  • Ease congestion to improve productivity
  • Unlock economic/job creation potential
  • Enable new housing development
  • Improve efficiency of use or road space
  • Use smart technology to reduce congestion

The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) has coordinated the submission of 11 bids for this fund.  These can be viewed in the top right links and are as follows:

  • Solihull Strategic Cycle Network – Town Centre-UKC Hub-Birmingham Links (WMCA-NPIF-01)
  • A38 Growth, Resilience and Clean Air Project (WMCA-NPIF-02)
  • Walsall Economic Growth and Infrastructure Package (WMCA-NPIF-03)
  • Birmingham Growth Point Public Transport Package (WMCA-NPIF-04)
  • Key Route Network Resilience – Bridge Improvements Package (WMCA-NPIF-05)
  • Coventry Smart Traffic Management System (WMCA-NPIF-06)
  • i54 Western Extension – Access Infrastructure (WMCA-NPIF-07)
  • Dudley Town Centre – Growth Infrastructure Package (WMCA-NPIF-08)
  • Brierley Hill Strategic Centre – Growth Infrastructure Package (WMCA-NPIF-09)
  • Coventry Ring Road Junction One (WMCA-NPIF-10)
  • East Park Gateway – Access Infrastructure (WMCA-NPIF-11)

These 11 bids have a total funding request of £40.8m. This funding request, along with local contributions of £50.6m, will enable the delivery of £91.4m investment across the area.  It is expected that the DfT will announce successful bids in autumn 2017 to enable delivery to begin in April 2018.