The West Midlands Interchange is a proposed Strategic Rail Freight Interchange (SRFI) with warehousing and other associated development that would be built on land west of Junction 12 of the M6 in southern Staffordshire.
The West Midlands Interchange would be linked directly to the West Coast Mainline, one of the country’s principal freight routes, and will be well placed to serve Birmingham, the northern M6 corridor, Staffordshire and parts of Warwickshire.
When built, it will provide around 800,000 square metres (sq m) of new rail-served warehousing and room for the region’s important logistics industry to grow. These proposals would create up to 8,500 new jobs in South Staffordshire and the Black Country.
A Strategic Rail Freight Interchange is something the West Midlands has needed for a long time. Markets are increasingly global and our strong manufacturing and exporting businesses will need faster, more reliable transport links in future to stay competitive at home and abroad.
Rail freight is also a sustainable approach. Tonne for tonne, transporting goods by rail produces much less of the chemicals linked with global warming and air pollution than carrying them by road. This could also help ease congestion in the region by removing the need for thousands of HGV journeys from the M6.
We’ve got a long way to go. It will be at least 18 months before we can apply for consent to build the West Midlands Interchange. Before then we need to talk to local communities, residents and businesses to make sure we get the plans right.