Close transport funding gap - GBCC
The "immense imbalance" in transport investment in the West Midlands must be addressed in the Autumn Statement, the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce (GBCC) has said.
GBCC said the region receives £389 per person in publically funded infrastructure investment – the second lowest in the UK and a fraction of London's £5,426 per head.
Greg Lowson, president of GBCC, said: "This is an immense imbalance and we call on Mr Osborne to address the issue," said GBCC president Greg Lowson.
"The West Midlands stands at the cross-roads of the UK’s rail and road infrastructure and urgently needs investment over above what HS2 might bring."
Lowson also said that "little work" has been done to understand how improved links between the East and West Midlands could stimulate the region's economy.
He added that the 'Midlands Connect' project, an initiative between local enterprise partnerships, the highways agency and Network Rail has the capacity to be the Midlands' equivalent of the Northern Hub or HS3.
"The chamber calls on the Chancellor to recognise the significance of the project and be prepared to allocate funding."
The call comes as the leaders of the seven West Midlands metropolitan authorities and the region’s three local enterprise partnerships agreed to commission a ten-year transport plan to unlock economic potential.