A major road upgrade to cut congestion in Birmingham and the Black Country has won a reprieve after Ministers announced funding to press ahead with the scheme.
The Government froze plans to increase capacity on the M6 in May, as part of a major review of transport schemes launched after the general election.
But Transport Secretary Philip Hammond has now announced that the project, which could cost £202 million, will go ahead after all.
The high-tech scheme will introduce hard shoulder running on the M6 from junction five, near Castle Vale, Birmingham, to junction eight, in Walsall.
Known as automated traffic management, it uses traffic signals to direct drivers to use the hard shoulder in peak hours, effectively increasing capacity on the motorway without the need to build an extra lane.
Mr Hammond also confirmed the announcement in last week’s spending review that the £127.1 million Metro line from Snow Hill Station to New Street Station in Birmingham city centre will go ahead.
But he revealed that the Government had demanded a “best and final offer” from the city council to guarantee the project was built as cost-efficiently as possible. Despite this, Department for Transport officials said the project would definitely go ahead.
Other West Midlands schemes were not approved and require “further analysis”, the Department for Transport said.
They include road, rail and canal improvements in Darlaston, Walsall; a £46 package of transport improvements in Worcester, called the integrated transport strategy; the Coventry to Nuneaton rail upgrade; a new road connecting the A34 to western Stafford, and maintenance work to strengthen the Tame Viaduct, which carries the Aston Expressway over the River Tame near Spaghetti Junction.
The Department for Transport also postponed a decision on proposals for a new road linking the M54, which runs through Shropshire and Staffordshire, to the M6 Toll.
Across the country, 24 new transport projects were approved, at a cost of £600 million.
Mr Hammond said: “Whilst we have had to make some tough choices, I am pleased that spending on transport was treated as a priority for the Government in the spending review.
“This Government sees transport as a key driver of growth nationally and in the regions.
“Taken together, this investment will not only bring benefits in terms of reduced congestion, shorter journey times and more efficient public transport, but also provide a vital economic boost.”