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Infrastructure Improvement Will Power Midlands Engine

Midlands Connect, an initiative to improve infrastructure across the region, has outlined how new road and rail schemes will be the driving force behind the Midlands Engine in a new report.

The Picking up the Pace report, which was launched in Derby at an event attended by transport secretary Chris Grayling, called for planning and design and key transport projects to be accelerated.

The organisation said starting the development of schemes now will allow them to be built in the early 2020s and could maximise the benefit of HS2.

Research by Midlands Connect also claimed that speeding up journey times across the region could boost the Midlands' economy by £1bn and create 300,000 jobs.

Grayling, a keynote speaker at the launch, said: "Good transport helps people get around and get on and is crucial to driving economic growth. That is why the government is heavily investing in transport across the country, spreading opportunity and growth and bringing our country closer together.

"With its position at the heart of the UK, the Midlands is vital to the country’s success and I want the region to speak to government with one voice on its future transport priorities.

"Midlands Connect is making great progress, building evidence of the region’s transport needs and bringing real momentum to making the Midlands an engine for growth."

Sir John Peace, chairman of Midlands Connect and the Midlands Engine, added: "The Midlands is in an increasingly competitive global market and to stay competitive we need affordable, fast and direct transport to deliver our people and goods to where they need to be.

"But we need to pick up the pace in terms of how we go about planning for the future. Unless we have the right kind of forward planning in place we will not be properly ready to meet the challenges that lie ahead or to make the most of HS2 and the rail capacity it releases."

Last modified on Friday, 22 July 2016 15:09

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