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05/10/2016

Transport order submitted for Midland Metro extension

Words: Laura Edgar
Birmingham metro

The Midland Metro Alliance has applied for a Transport and Works Order to build and operate the Birmingham Eastside extension from Bull Street to Digbeth.

The alliance applied for the order on behalf of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA).

If granted, the order will allow work to begin on the 1.05-mile extension, which will serve the proposed HS2 station at Curzon Street, offering connections to New Street, Moor Street and Snow Hill train stations.

The £137.2 million scheme will also provide easy access to Birmingham Coach Station and bus routes to the south east of the city centre.

Starting at the junction of Bull Street and Corporation Street, there will four stops: Albert Street; New Canal Street; Meriden Street and the terminus stop will be on Digbeth High Street.

Subject to any local public inquiry, work is scheduled to begin in 2019, with the line expected to open in 2023.

Roger Lawrence, lead member for transport, WMCA, said the Birmingham Eastside extension will not only improve access for existing business travellers and commuters but also provide “easier access to jobs for the unemployed, further encourage tourism and leisure travel”.

“This we will help spread economic benefits from HS2 and local developments which will increase economic opportunities across the West Midlands,” Lawrence said.

Seven new Urbos trams will be added to the current fleet of 21, according to WMCA. Trams are expected to run every six minutes.

The Midland Metro Alliance will carry out the work. The alliance comprises planning, design and construction specialists working with the combined authority.

Alejandro Moreno, director, Midland Metro Alliance, said the development of the route will play a “key part in helping to unlock the potential of the Eastside of Birmingham and will be an important part of the regeneration in this area”.

Work is currently underway to extend the route from New Street Station to Centenary Square. Services are expected to start running in 2019.

Funding has been earmarked for it to go to Edgbaston by 2019.

Image credit | iStock

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