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Improving road and rail connectivity key to ‘Levelling Up’ the East Midlands

2020-10-12 EMR Scenic CL810

Better rail links, reduced congestion and safer roads are all highlighted as key priorities for ‘Levelling Up’ the East Midlands in a new document published today. 

Transport for the East Midlands (TfEM) and Midlands Connect, have highlighted eight shared priorities in a new joint vision for the cities and counties of the East Midlands.  

Delivering these priorities will boost growth and investment, contribute to the Government’s ‘Net Zero’ and ‘Levelling Up’ Agendas, and help address the historic underfunding of transport in the East Midlands.

The eight priorities are:

  • Electrification of the Midland Main Line
  • Improved rail connectivity between Nottingham, Leicester and Coventry. 
  • The delivery of HS2 to the East Midlands and Leeds
  • Enhancements to the A46 Growth Corridor 
  • Reducing congestion and improving safety on the A5 Growth Corridor
  • Supporting growth and improving reliability throughout the A50/A500 Corridor
  • Improving safety and reliability on the A1  
  • Improving connectivity across EMDevCo and East Midlands Freeport areas.

Sir Peter Soulsby, Chair of Transport for the East Midlands and City Mayor for Leicester, said: “The East Midlands has a strong track record in delivering high levels of housing and employment growth in the national interest over many years. 

“But with better connectivity, we could do so much more. 

“The eight strategic priorities Transport for the East Midlands and Midlands Connect have jointly identified will unlock growth across the region and allow our towns and cities to thrive – contributing to the Government’s ‘Levelling Up’ agenda.”

Cllr Richard Davies, Transport for the East Midlands Vice Chair and Transport Lead for Lincolnshire County Council, explained the importance of just one of the eight projects: “The A46 Newark Northern Bypass remains Transport for the East Midlands’ top strategic road priority. 

“From Farndon to the interchange with the A1 and A17, the A46 has been a bottleneck for years, raising serious concerns about congestion, pollution, and safety. 

“While National Highways has identified a preferred route for an enhancement to the A46 which would improve the junctions with the A1 and A17 and connectivity across Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire, delivery funding has yet to be agreed and this crucial decision will now be for the new Government to make.”

Sir John Peace, Chairman of Midlands Connect, said: “At Midlands Connect, we are committed to working closely with Transport for the East Midlands to help deliver growth opportunities and better connections. 

“Investment in this region’s transport will have a remarkable benefit to the whole country and create a positive ripple effect to boost the development of industry, skills and infrastructure. 

“Taking forward these joint priorities will help lay the groundwork for improved connectivity across the Midlands, unlocking the potential of major economic hubs such as EMDevCo and the two Freeports – opening the region’s businesses to the world.”

Read our shared vision here