Birmingham and Nottingham city councils have launched Midlands Connect as the region’s equivalent to the One North plan devised by northern authorities to improve their region’s connectivity.
In a joint letter to transport secretary Patrick McLaughlin, the two councils’ respective leaders, Sir Albert Bore and John Collins (both Lab), say they “await to hear” of similar government transport connection plans for the Midlands to those of One North.
One North aims to improve links between Manchester, Sheffield, Leeds, Newcastle and Liverpool.
Midlands Connect seeks to maximise the impact of HS2, co-ordinated with other growth projects including: the Curzon Masterplan for regenerating Birmingham around its HS2 station; the UK Central Masterplan to strengthen the Greater Birmingham economy; and the HS2 Growth Vision for the East Midlands.
Local enterprise partnerships across the Midlands have plans to create half a million jobs over the next decade, along with a 10% population growth, says the letter.
HS2 chairman David Higgins has called on local authorities affected by HS2 to have effective plans in place to deliver integrated transport networks.
The Midlands Connect report argues that poor existing transport connectivity across the Midlands “creates a barrier to further economic agglomeration and freight movements east-west”.
It cites rail journey times of one hour 43 minutes between Birmingham and Nottingham and two hours between Leicester and Coventry.