Sustainable transport – Does it matter?

With so many businesses across Herefordshire and Worcestershire keen to see improvements to the road and rail infrastructure (41%), it is with great pleasure that Chamber is pleased to announce its support for the Midlands Rail Hub. As part of £2 billion plan, the additional rail services for Herefordshire and Worcestershire are some of the most ambitious for a generation.

Passenger journeys in the West Midlands are growing faster than anywhere else in the country, and have risen by 121% over the past decade, but without investment the region’s rail network can’t keep pace with this record demand. Many services between major towns and cities in the Midlands remain slow and infrequent, including an average of 85 minutes between Hereford and Birmingham.

This is why the Chamber is delighted to support the Midlands Rail Hub plans, submitted to government by Midlands Connect, which outline new and improved infrastructure to be completed between 2024-2033.

  • The Plans make space for 24 additional train services an hour, including an extra train every hour between Hereford, Worcester and Birmingham. An estimated six million more journeys per year and an estimated economic benefit of £649 million a year by 2037 are expected to occur.
  • Hereford-Birmingham journey time could be cut by 20 minutes to 65 minutes.
  • One extra train an hour in each direction between Hereford-Birmingham and Worcester-Birmingham.

Given that fewer than 30% of journeys from Hereford and Worcester to Birmingham are made by rail, the improvements to this infrastructure network are likely to improve road congestion and takes steps towards reducing reliance on less sustainable transport.

The Midlands Rail Hub outlines plans to build 15 pieces of new and improved infrastructure to create space for 24 extra passenger trains every hour on the regional network, reducing journey times, increasing rail journeys and supercharging the economy by bringing the East and West Midlands closer together.

Rail freight produces 76 percent less CO2 than the equivalent road haulage journey[1]. By making space for 36 new freight paths a day, the Midlands Rail Hub can take the equivalent of 4,320 lorries’ worth of goods off the road and on to rail every day, significantly reducing carbon emissions.