5 new stops revealed for Metro extension
THE MIDLAND Metro is to be extended a further mile to the west of Birmingham city centre, it has been revealed.
The locations of five new tram stops have been confirmed along Broad Street and Hagley Road, beyond Five Way, in Edgbaston.
The 1.2-mile line will be an extension of the current route which currently terminates in Stephenson Street by New Street Station.
Work is already planned for new stops outside Birmingham Town Hall and at Centenary Square, in Broad Street.
The other stops will be opposite Brindleyplace at the corner of Granville Street, by the Cineworld cinema, Broad Street, and besides the 54 Hagley Road offices, close to the Morrisons supermarket.
These will be served by up to ten trams an hour at peak times.
Preliminary ground works started earlier this year and the extension is due to be up and running by spring 2021. The details have been confirmed as the Department for Transport announces it is giving £60 million of funding to support the overall £149 million cost of this extension.
The remaining funding has been raised locally through the West Midlands Combined Authority, Birmingham City Council, Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership and developers.
Parts of the new route will be built without overhead lines to minimise the impact on buildings. The trams use battery power in those sections.
Two famous Birmingham statues – Iron: Man in Victoria Square and Boulton, Watt and Murdoch in Broad Street – have already been moved to allow the line to be built.
Transport minister Paul Maynard joined dignitaries in Birmingham this week to announce the funding boost.
He said: “Midland Metro is already a success story, with passenger journeys up nearly a third this year compared to last year. This new extension will be a further boost to Birmingham businesses and make travelling to work easier for commuters.
“But, just as importantly, it will help ease the pressure on the roads as it will provide an alternative for getting in and out of the city centre.
“This is a vital project and one which we are delighted to be able to support.”
In May last year, an extension of the tram network from Snow Hill station to New Street station opened, while the wider project will see new lines out to Digbeth and the HS2 terminal in Curzon Street, Birmingham Airport and Brierley Hill.
Deputy West Midlands Mayor Councillor Bob Sleigh said: “We are delighted that government funding is now in place to help get the Midland Metro extension to Edgbaston built.
“The Metro is a real success story for this region and that will continue as new routes are rolled out over the next few years across Birmingham and the Black Country.
“It is not just these areas that will benefit, though, as the Metro is key to the WMCA’s vision for strategic growth and regeneration across the West Midlands, bringing huge benefits to everyone who lives and works here.”
> An artist’s impression of the Edgbaston extension of the Midland Metro tram terminating outide 54 Hagley Road, close to Morrisons
> It is hoped the line will evenntually be extended even further