West Midlands to get £85m to fix potholes

potholes

  Image by Alan Stanton

 

The West Midlands Integrated Transport Authority will get a total of £85,055,000 to tackle its potholes.

 In the West Midlands region, the funds include the following local authorities:

  1. Coventry
  2. Dudley
  3. Sandwell
  4. Solihul
  5. Walsall
  6. Wolverhampton.

This is a part of the total £6 billion funds of announced today by the Department for Transport (DfT) for improving local roads between 2015 to 2021. It aims to help English local authorities fix 18 million potholes with these funds.

Over £4.7bn will be shared between 115 councils, while a further £575m will be available through a challenge fund for maintaining infrastructure such as junctions, bridges and street lighting.

Birmingham City Council is not included for these funds as:

“highways maintenance for this authority is provided through a Highways Maintenance Private Finance Initiative “

An interactive map on the DfT website gives more details of funds in each region.

£1.7M improvements at Acocks Green station nearing completion

Birmingham UpdatesThis is a reblogged post, originally written by Birmingham Updates.

For more updates on ‘News, Travel and Weather’, they are also at @BhamUpdates 

Work installing lifts in a £1.7 million improvement scheme at Acocks Green Station is nearing completion.

Acocks Green Station dates from the Edwardian-era and is one of the busiest rail station in the West Midlands, with 388,592 passenger journeys in 2012/13. However it has previously only had stairs to allow access to the platform from the street and booking hall.

The improvements involve installing lift access from the station booking office to the car park and platforms via a new footbridge spanning the tracks.

Acocks green station

The work is being delivered by Centro and part-funded by the Department for Transport as part of the Access for All scheme – Access for All is a Department for Transport strategy to improve the accessibility of the UK’s railway network.

Funding is granted to improve infrastructure at stations to allow access for anyone for whom stairs would be a barrier, including the disabled, parents with small children or people with heavy luggage.

The Department for Transport awarded £1 million of the total cost and the remainder is being funded by Centro.

Centro lead member for rail, Cllr Roger Horton said:

“This scheme is fantastic news for passengers, it means it will be much easier for people to go by train from Acocks Green.

A key feature is that we consulted with the local community about what we were doing and used that feedback to ensure the design of the new lift towers is in keeping with the rest of the building.”

The station, which has a free 132 space park and ride facility, is a key stop on the Birmingham Snow Hill to Leamington Spa line, an important commuter route that also serves Solihull.

Infrastructure Maintenance Delivery Manager for Network Rail, Mark Sturgess, said:

“These vital improvements to Acocks Green station will make life easier for everyone to use the train, especially those with heavy luggage or reduced mobility.

The new facilities at the station will play an important role in helping us to manage the individual needs of the increasing numbers of passengers who travel on the railway.”

Terry Oliver, head of Snow Hill services for train operator London Midland, added:

“We are delighted that accessibility is improving for passengers at Acocks Green station, thanks to the partnership between the Department for Transport and Centro.

It is one of the busiest suburban stations within the West Midlands, so this is a fantastic step forward for the hundreds of thousands of passengers that use the station each year.”

Work is due to be completed by the end of this summer.

(Image: Peter Sharples)

Q&A:Safer Travel Police – queries, concerns over public transport

Birmingham Updates Birmingham Updates bring for us a Storify of the tweets from a live Q&A session with the Safer Travel Police –  a joint force team of the West Midlands Police and the British Transport Police.

Sgt Ben Westwood answered questions and concerns related to public via Facebook and Twitter: #TweetTheSarg

Research: West Midlands among best in country for rail services

This post was originally published on the Transport Network. Shared here and on Eastside, are some more details on the data revealed from the research on regional rail performance

According to it, London, West Midlands and the North West are the best performing rail regions in terms of overall services, while the East of England and Wales remain low on accessibility.


Overall benchmarking scores put West Midlands and the North West at second place with 50%. London stood at first place here, with 59%.


In terms of growth and usage, London was the highest at 73%, followed by the South East at 56% and the West Midlands at 51%. Factors analysed were trips per head, 10-year growth rate and rail mode share.

The research – Benchmarking Rail Services Across Great Britain - was carried out by consultants, Credo, in association with Campaign for Better Transport.

DfT recommends industry and local government learn from the report.

Peter Wilkinson, director of franchising, Department for Transport said:

“There are challenges for all regions in improving performance. The industry and local government must consider how we best work together to tackle the issues this report raises.”


However, on the service quality front, both London and the West Midlands were quite low with 36% and 41% respectively, compared to the highest scores in Scotland at 55%.


Accessibility scores remain high for London at 68%, followed by the West Midlands at 57%, despite having low value for money scores. East of England emerged the lowest in this category at 17%.

Scottish rail services – which operate under a devolved management for the Scotrail franchise – showed high passenger satisfaction, while Welsh rail services had relatively low levels of usage, accessibility and satisfaction, including the second lowest level for accessibility at 22%.

The research recommends focus on passenger satisfaction around key themes of station cleanliness, security, investments on fleet modernisation and locally identified fare subsidies.

If you have more ideas or questions/comments on improving the presentation of this data, please get in touch @brumtransport

West Midlands passengers feel the most unsafe

Bus passengers in the West Midlands feel more unsafe than in any other region, a recent report reveals.

It is the second year in a row that the West Midlands Passenger Transport Executive (WMPTE) region has come out with the highest number of passengers feeling unsafe.

More than one in six respondents (17 per cent) to the Bus Passenger Survey 2013 said that the behaviour of other passengers had given them cause to worry or make them feel uncomfortable.

The independent watchdog, Passenger Focus carried out the survey for autumn 2012 in 22 regions in the country outside London. Data was collected between 23 September and 12 December, 2012 (excluding the half term holiday period).

However, with the fatal stabbing of a teenager on a bus in Birmingham earlier on 7 March, this perception of safety is likely to be even lower now.

At the second spot is the Greater Manchester region with the figure at 13 per cent.

The overall satisfaction of passengers with their journey has also fallen from 81 per cent last year to 79 per cent this year in the WMPTE region.

The number of female passengers experiencing anti-social behavior has gone up from 15 to 16 per cent. Figures about perception of security inside the buses are the same in the last two years.

Anthony Smith, Passenger Focus chief executive, has said in a press statement:

“Each year some 2.3 billion bus journeys are made in England outside of London. Passengers are not satisfied with around 375 million journeys. We hope this report will be a call to action for transport authorities and bus companies to better work together to improve things for passengers.”

Low level nuisance behaviour such as playing loud music, feet on seats, boisterous antics, smoking are some of the frequent complains, said a spokesperson from public transport authority Centro.

Phil Tonks, an independent transport consultant said:

“There is obviously work to be done on improving perceptions of local bus services. The Safer Travel Team also continues to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour on our buses. However, it is clear that other aspects of the journey experience need improvement.”

 

UPDATE: This post from Brum Transport was later published in the Birmingham Mail’s datablog Behind the Numbers