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24/06/2014
Businesses urged to speak out about strategic transport opportunities

Seizing the economic opportunities presented by HS2 is one of the key themes of a draft report into the Midlands’ strategic transport network – and local businesses are being urged to have a say.

Midlands Connect brings together a cross-LEP partnership to develop the strongest possible case for strategic transport investment in the region.

LEPs across the West Midlands have acknowledged the importance of becoming ‘HS2 ready’, their economic links with their neighbouring LEPs and the benefits of working collaboratively together on matters such as strategic transport. 

In doing so, the Midlands Connect study – which businesses can download as a draft – takes an evidence-based approach which, in alignment with Strategic Economic Plans, will ultimately aim to ensure that the Midlands is well-placed to influence and benefit from future significant funding programmes, such as those currently being developed by the rail industry, including HS2, and the Highways Agency for 2020 and beyond.

Black Country businesses are being urged to download the draft technical report and offer their comments and suggestions. The Midlands Connect Steering Group – which commissioned the draft report from transportation planning specialists Steer Davies Gleave – is keen to make sure that every opportunity for economic benefit is captured within the plans.

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The group is particularly seeking input into Chapter Four and Five of the report.

For instance, in light of the connectivity challenges identified in the report, has the report identified the right strategic objectives for the area?

What should be the focus areas when planning for future transport interventions?

Which locations do local businesses feel would benefit from investment the most?

Which type of investment is likely to support the greatest long-term economic growth impacts, not only locally but of the wider region?

The consultation is open until Friday 4 July and comments should be sent to Steer Davies Gleave’s Lorenzo Casullo (Lorenzo.casullo@sdgworld.net) and Maria Machancoses (Maria-PilarMachancoses@centro.org.uk).

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As part of the consultation process, a breakfast meeting targeted at representatives from the business community is being held on Thursday 26 June at Birmingham Airport.

For more information and registration details, please visit the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce website >>

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