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Birmingham plans £254m worth of major road improvements

Aston Expressway and Dudley Road are among those to undergo repair work as part of five-year budget plan

The Aston Expressway has been included in a new £254m budget for roadworks in Birmingham

Major road improvements to the Aston Expressway, Dudley Road and in Stechford are contained in a £254 million funding package for highways and road repairs set to be approved by council bosses.

The funding, to be spent over the next five years, will also pay for smaller road works, cycling initiatives, safety measures and safer routes for schools.

The majority of the cash comes from the Department for Transport, the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership and the city council's own highways budget.

But there is also £4 million raised from city centre bus lane enforcement fines collected since 2013 - with £1 million of it already allocated for improvement works to Iron Lane in Stechford, one of the city's worst congestion pinch points.

The council controversially kept the £1.8 million it raised from bus lane fines between summer 2013 and February 2014 when a tribunal ruled that it had installed inadequate warning signs at three locations which caught drivers unaware.

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Further funds are likely to be used to pay for the expansion of bus lane enforcement cameras to more commuter routes throughout the city.

The council's transportation and highways capital funding strategy outlines the investment and is set to be approved by the cabinet next week.

Major works include the ongoing repairs to the Tame Valley Viaduct, which carries the Aston Expressway, and work on Dudley Road around the new Icknield Port Loop development.

Labour cabinet member for transport Tahir Ali said: "This document sets out how major highways projects will be funded between now and 2021, bringing significant benefits to the city's residents and businesses, ranging from economic growth and support for development and housing, through to reduced congestion, safer roads and improved air quality.

"A key part of my job is looking at the way people move around our city and working to ensure they can do this as smoothly and as effectively as possible.

"As part of this, we introduced city centre bus lanes which provide benefits such as improved journey times for thousands of commuters but we are also investing funds generated from bus lane enforcement penalties back into improving the local transport network, as we are required to do."

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