Fares, rail policy and DfT news

07.02.20

Birmingham Eastside Metro extension set for approval

The next development to the West Midlands Metro network is set to be given the go ahead by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) next week.

When the extension from Birmingham Eastside is complete the line will run from the current Metro line at Bull Street to High Street Deritend in Digbeth, via the planned HS2 Curzon Street Station.

Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), which is part of the WMCA, has curated a £227 million funding package to construct the 1.7 kilometre line, purchase battery powered trams and carry out extra work to advance Digbeth High Street.

The funding has come from central government, grants and the tram network itself through borrowing against future West Midlands Metro profit.

The Department for Transport permitted the Transport and Works Act order for the extension last month and is now able to be presented with the full business care for final approval.

Analysis from Transport for West Midlands has shown that every £1 invested in the extension will generate £3 in economic value for the region through better journey times, attracting more visitors to the area and supporting new commercial and housing development.

Expected to open by the end of 2025, the new tram line will also offer people a high quality and convenient alternative to the car when visiting Digbeth and the city centre.

It will also pave the way for the proposed East Birmingham to Solihull extension to Birmingham Airport via Bordesley Green and Chelmsley Wood.

Proposed BEE 16012020 v4

Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands said: “I am delighted that we are finally in a position to press ahead with the Birmingham Eastside metro extension, pending approval of the WMCA board next week.

"We have ambitious plans for the Midland Metro right across the West Midlands and this is a key part of that, with work also underway on both the Birmingham Westside and Wednesbury to Brierley Hill extensions.

"The Eastside Extension will bring with it huge benefits, not least assisting the significant regeneration of Digbeth. On top of this, we expect it will help attract further investment into the West Midlands, create new jobs, and of course further improve transport links across the region.

"There is inevitably a frustration that the project is estimated to take nearly five years to complete due to the well-publicised HS2 delays, but I am confident that, if the Government gives the go-ahead to the high-speed rail project, we will be able to bring the timeline forward working in collaboration with both the DfT and HS2 Ltd.”

 Images: Transport for West Midlands 

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