5 new stops re­vealed for Metro ex­ten­sion

Birmingham Post - - NEWS - Tam­lyn Jones Busi­ness Correspondent

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

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