Birmingham transport scheme gets £15.7m boost

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A road improvement scheme which would allow the runway at Birmingham Airport to be extended has been awarded £15.7m.

The cash from the government's Regional Growth Fund will form part of the £32.7m initiative involving the airport and transport authority Centro.

The A45 Coventry Road near the airport would be diverted under the scheme, which would also allow better access to Birmingham International train station.

Runway extension proposals would be discussed this month, the airport said.

It added the board was minded to go ahead with the runway extension scheme and details would be discussed at its next meeting.

'Excellent news'

The Regional Growth Fund is a £1.4bn fund designed to encourage enterprise, growth and jobs in the private sector and support communities which are dependent on the public sector.

A total of £10m has been provided by Centro and £7m by the airport towards the £32.7m transport initiative involving the A45.

An airport spokesman said: "The Regional Growth Fund investment in the A45 transport corridor is excellent news for all the businesses operating along the corridor between Birmingham, Solihull and Coventry."

Birmingham City Council leader Mike Whitby said upgrading the A45 would bring "significant transportation and economic benefits" to the region.

He said: "[It] will also remove the constraint the current road alignment has on the proposed runway extension."

Birmingham Airport said it was hopeful the extension would be operational by 2014.

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