We recently sponsored a seminar with private and public stakeholders interested in delivering enhanced interconnectivity across the Midlands: Driving Enhanced Interconnectivity Across The Midlands – an ACE Midlands Event, held earlier this month in Coventry.
It was very interesting to hear Maria Machancoses the Director of Midland Connect laying out her vision for infrastructure across the Midlands region. The area that they are looking at is vast, stretching from Herefordshire on the Welsh Border in the west and the Lincolnshire coast in the east.
Whilst much of the past focus on infrastructure has been on north/south travel through the region, the strategy emphasises the importance of east/west links across the region and creating the interconnectivity with HS2 so that the people of the Midlands benefit from that. As someone with an office in Birmingham and relatives in North East Lincolnshire, any improvement in east/west infrastructure will be greatly appreciated.
Following the speech from Maria Machancoses, we held a workshop on Driving Enhanced Interconnectivity Across the Midlands for Midland Connect, sponsored by Geo-Environmental Services Limited. There is a full report that ACE, who facilitated the event, will produce and distribute – so look out for that. However, there were some very interesting points raised about the need to consider the infrastructure for electric vehicles whilst making improvements to the road networks, the need for procurers to find better ways to define value, other than lowest cost, the need for common data formats across the industry and the importance of building a strong regional identity across the Midlands – amongst many other good points.
ACE are compiling the report at the moment, drawing conclusions and hope to release it later in the year. It is proposed that there would be follow-up meetings after that with stakeholders across the region.