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DfT approves Midland Metro extension with £59.8m fund

Words: Laura Edgar
Midland Metro / Shutterstock_454797166

The Department for Transport (DfT) has approved the extension of the Midland Metro and will contribute £59.8 million to the scheme linking Birmingham city centre with Edgbaston and the city’s Westside area.

Five new stops will be built, with up to 10 trams an hour at peak times running the line.

The two-kilometre expansion with run from Grand Central, outside Birmingham New Street station, to Edgbaston.

The £59.8 million from the government brings the total funding to the £149 million, with £84 million raised locally, including through the West Midlands Combined Authority, Birmingham City Council, and the Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership.

Transport minister Paul Maynard said: “Midland Metro is already a success story, with passenger journeys up nearly a third this year compared with 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.”

Bob Sleigh OBE, deputy West Midlands Mayor, added that the Metro is key to the combined authority’s vision for strategic growth and regeneration across the West Midlands.

New stops will be built at the Town Hall, Centenary Square, Brindleyplace and at two more stations either side of the Five Ways roundabout in Edgbaston.

Part of the route will be built without overhead lines in an attempt to limit the impact on Birmingham’s historic city centre and other buildings. Instead, high-tech batteries fitted to the trams will mean they can run on their own power.

The line is expected to open in March 2021.

Image credit | Shutterstock