Calling for New Connectivity in Longbridge


You may know that the Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP is currently developing its Strategic Economic Plan (SEP), which will be submitted to the Government at the end of March 2014, and form the basis of the city-regions negotiations for a a ‘Growth Deal’. It is a crucial time for determining how our city region will drive growth and new opportunities in the future.

Of course our city is already making significant progress. Take the huge redevelopment going on at Longbridge – with a new college, a new town centre, and a high-tech park with bags of potential for investmentIt is not only close to the city – but to the M42 and M5 motorways, and on the Cross City line. 

But the potential of Longbirdge as a gateway into a region, and as a destination in it’s own right, is being undermined by the poor transport infrastructure we have there. Facilities at the railway station are poor, and there is also just not enough thought given to connectivity between different types of transport in the area. Over the past year I have working with colleagues in the Longbridge Connectivity Group – which includes representatives from the private sector and community, as well as public authorities such as Centro, Network Rail, London Midland – and local councillors – to call for a new ‘Longbridge Connectivity Package.’ 

We have a set of transport proposals that will help unlock Longbridge’s potential as an attractive and competitive destination, and stimulate jobs and investment for the long term. The package of improvements, including a rail station upgrade, M42 Connectivity Scheme, Cycle link scheme, bus interchange and park and ride facilities, are also vital for improving local people’s transport options, ensuring environmental sustainability, and tackling deprivation in the area.

The Lonbridge Connectivity Infsrastructure Package, that  been submitted to the LEP for their consideration, that can read here:GBSLEP Longbridge Connectivity Package Final v5.

As exciting new opportunities for jobs, skills and innovation open up, it is now vital that the right infrastructure is in place to unlock future growth in Longbridge and the wider South Birmingham and Worcestershire areas.

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Richard Burden

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I was Labour Member of Parliament for Birmingham Northfield between 1992 and 2019 and a former Shadow Transport Minister. I now chair Healthwatch in Birmingham and Solihull, and the West Midlands Board of Remembering Srebrenica. I also work as a public affairs consultant. I am an effective community advocate and stakeholder alliance builder with a passion for human rights. I am a trustee of the Balfour Project charity and of Citizens Advice Birmingham, and a former Chair of Medical Aid for Palestinians.

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