Latest Rail News

18.12.12

Centro and National Express partnership to drive Metro improvements

Centro has formed a partnership with the Midland Metro’s system operator National Express to underpin the £130m improvements planned.

The agreement, ‘Metro Forward’, will see the organisations working together to enhance the tram system.

The commitments set out in the agreement include increased frequency with the introduction of 20 new, larger trams to provide 10 services an hour throughout the day. This will increase capacity by 40% and ease overcrowding during peak times.

Smartcard technology will be introduced, as well as upgrades to existing tram stops, measures to tackle metal and cable theft, enhanced safety and security, opportunities for more Park & Ride facilities, enhanced links with local bus services.

National Express will operate the system on Centro’s behalf over the next six years and a new taskforce will press ahead with the commitments in the agreement.

Centro chairman Cllr McNicholas said: “The Metro is the region’s most reliable and punctual form of public transport and already offers passengers an excellent service.

“Yet this new agreement cements the commitment of our two organisations to bring passengers even more benefits and to work closely together as the system undergoes some exciting changes, not least the return of trams to the streets of Birmingham.”

National Express UK Bus managing director Peter Coates added: “This new agreement will see big customer experience improvements to an already industry leading service.  It is also great news for the region with 1,300 extra jobs being created and a £50million a year boost to the economy.”

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