Presented By: Councillor Ian Ward
(1) The full business cases for the Sprint A34 Walsall to Birmingham and Sprint A45 Birmingham to Airport & Solihull, which covered phase one and phase two of delivery, was approved.
(2) The budget for the phase one delivery of £87.8m, to include bus priority
interventions, signal upgrades, shelter enhancements, ticket machines, utility diversions and resurfacing, was approved.
(3) The £26m funding allocation within the WMCA Investment Programme, which WMCA Board earmarked in November 2019 to fund phase one for Sprint A34 Walsall to Birmingham and Sprint A45 Birmingham to Airport & Solihull was approved.
(4) It was noted that the approval of the £87.8m budget would be subject to all necessary funding agreements being signed and sealed, in particular the Department for Transport funding referred to within the report.
(5) It was agreed that, subject to £50.3m funding for phase two being identified and allocated:
(a) the delivery of phase two, as contained within the final business cases, be approved in principle;
(b) WMCA Board would receive a further report seeking approval to the budget documenting the costs, scope, benefits and confirmed delivery profile for the schemes; and
(c) A full business case to cover solely the phase two delivery aspects would not be required, subject to the total phase one and two cost, scope and benefits falling within the parameters of the final business cases which were the subject of the report;
(6) The submission of the A45 Birmingham to Airport & Solihull Sprint full business case to the Department for Transport was endorsed, and an expedited approval was sought in order to support delivery for 2022.
(7) It was noted that as construction and utility costs for the scheme were not yet finalised, the project team would need to flexibly manage the scope of the scheme in order to maintain the overall budget, and that this would need to be managed in a way that ensured the benefits were not materially affected and appropriate change control processes implemented to manage any changes.
(8) Authority was delegated to officers as set out with the report.
(9) Further development and enabling work with local authority partners, to
deliver a Park & Ride site near to M6 Junction 7 on the A34 route in advance of the Commonwealth Games alongside phase one was approved.
(10) It was noted that the A34 full scheme delivered a ‘benefit:cost ratio’ of 3.23:1, the A45 full scheme delivered a ‘benefit:cost ratio’ of 2.42:1 and that the overall level of economic benefit of phase one was £201.3m.
(11) It was noted that the Sprint service would be operated by zero emission vehicles and the operator(s) would purchase the vehicles.