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Midland Metro extension to Wolverhampton approved

The £18m Midland Metro tram extension to Wolverhampton was given formal approval yesterday by the transport secretary.

Work on the extension can now begin later this year, and it is due to open in 2019.

The route, part of a £120m redevelopment of the city centre, will take trams along the city’s Pipers Row to the bus station and the railway station, which will also be redeveloped as part of the Wolverhampton Interchange Project.

Cllr Roger Lawrence, leader of City of Wolverhampton Council and West Midlands Combined Authority lead on transport, said: “The approval is excellent news because the extension can play a key role in unlocking further investment and jobs – not just in Wolverhampton but also other parts of the Black Country.

“If we are to succeed in revitalising our city then we must have the right transport infrastructure in place to open up new areas for redevelopment and underpin our long-term ambitions.”

Following a six-week legal challenge period, the Transport and Works Act Order approved by Patrick McLoughlin will come into force and allow work to start on advanced utility diversions.

This will be followed by works to the Pipers Row car park to create the space to divert the underground pipes and cables buried along the route of the tram extension.

The Metro scheme is being carried out by Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), the transport arm of the WMCA, in partnership with the City of Wolverhampton Council and Neptune Developments.

Steve Parry, managing director of Neptune Developments, said: “The announcement is great news for the Wolverhampton Interchange scheme as the Midland Metro extension is the element that will tie the commercial developments and the new bus and railway stations together.”

The Midland Metro line from Bull Street to New Street station in Birmingham was launched at the end of last month after it was delayed due to safety concerns.

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John Gilbert   25/09/2016 at 16:34

Together with a friend I travelled on the Metro tram line from New Street station to Wolverhampton recently. The trams are smart and splendid and ride smoothly in general. However....the seats are VERY HARD and uncomfortable, and the street track in Wolverhamton is very corrugated and noisy/uncomfortable. (It was also similarly corrugated the last time I rode on it, which was YEARS ago!! So come on, Midland Metro, get your act together. Get that track ground - as often as necessary, and please can we have softer seats!!! SOON!

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