Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) has said applying “ingenuity” to the region’s transport system is essential to keep pace with surging business and population growth.

Speaking ahead of next month’s Freight in the City Spring Summit in Birmingham, Mike Waters, head of policy and strategy at TfWM, said effective last-mile operations would play a vital role in this aim.

“As a dense urban area built on a legacy of manufacturing, which is regenerating into a new generation of advanced manufacturing and engineering, having effective last-mile freight solutions in place is becoming increasingly vital to the West Midlands,” he said.

As well as the region’s urban roads network needing to support a complex existing supply chain that drives a major proportion of UK export GDP, Waters added it was also essential to meet the needs of a growing residential population.

Indeed, the West Midlands has forecast significant urban population growth over the next few decades that will add the equivalent of a city the size of Liverpool to the region.

“At the same time we are the centre of the UK’s automotive R&D activity and inventing and exporting solutions to the rest of the globe,” Waters said.

“Our challenge is simple – we must apply the engineering ingenuity we are exporting to our own transport system in order improve the efficiency of both.”

The West Midlands Freight Strategy document has been published, and contains action plans to promote more sustainable logistics movements to support economic growth across the region.

Martin Reeves, chief executive of the West Midlands Combined Authority and Coventry City Council, will be speaking about work to improve the region’s transport system at Freight in the City Spring Summit on 1 March at Edgbaston Stadium, Birmingham.

This free-to-attend event brings together key decision-makes from the public and private sector to debate the challenges and solutions to adopting cleaner, safer and more efficient urban freight movements. Book your free place today!