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09.10.14

Centro unveils Eastside extension plans for Midland Metro

Design plans for two options to extend the Midland Metro through the heart of the Digbeth area of Birmingham have been unveiled by Centro, with the public invited to give their views on the plans. 

Following an initial public consultation in February, a tram route from Bull Street in the city centre to the proposed HS2 station at Curzon Street was already agreed. 

But after transport chiefs secured extra government funding this summer to take the extension on further into Digbeth, the public are now being offered a chance to have their say on which of the two possible routes, drawn up by Centro and Birmingham City Council, the trams should take. 

The Eastside extension scheme, which includes the construction of the extension and additional new trams, could cost up to £130m – depending on which route is chosen through Digbeth. The plans include options to link New Canal Street with a proposed terminus and multi-storey car park at Adderley Street. 

  • Option 1 – is the shortest at just over 1km and follows Fazeley Street before turning onto Liverpool Street. There would be a stop close to the junction with Great Barr Street and Heath Mill Lane. Trams would then continue along Liverpool Street before turning into Adderley Street. 

 Centro - Map1

  • Option 2 – is just under 1.5km long and runs along New Canal Street and Meriden Street before turning left on to High Street Deritend. It would then run along the centre of the carriageway with a stop close to the junction of Milk Street to serve Digbeth Coach Station and the Custard Factory. It would then turn left into Adderley Street. 

 Centro - Map2

Depending on the timing of government approval for a Transport and Works Act Order to allow Centro to construct and operate the route, the extension could be open by 2023. This would help support and stimulate further economic growth and new jobs in the Eastside district ahead of the scheduled opening of HS2 in 2026. 

Cllr John McNicholas, Centro’s chairman, said: “The Eastside extension will provide a direct link to HS2 and its regional, national and international connection for tens of thousands of people in the Black Country and Birmingham who already have access to the Metro. 

“It will help cater for the movement of the 12,000 West Midlands people expected to arrive at the HS2 station every hour and provide fast and convenient public transport options for people to the east of the city.” 

A series of exhibitions are to be held in the city centre for people to ask questions and give feedback on the plans. The exhibitions will take place on: 

  • Tuesday October 14 at The Bond, Fazeley Street, 11.30am – 5.30pm
  • Thursday October 16 at Victoria Square, 10am – 6pm
  • Friday October 17 at The Coach Station, Digbeth, noon – 5pm
  • Thursday October 23 Winter Garden, Fazeley Studios, 8am – 11am
  • Thursday October 23 The Dome, Custard Factory, noon – 4.30pm
  • Saturday October 25 Birmingham Markets, 9am – 3pm

The deadline for comments is 31 October 2014.

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email opinion@railtechnologymagazine.com 

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