Funding for Midland Metro extensions

TRANSPORT for West Midlands has announced funding for two extensions to the Midland Metro tram network.

The Government has given £59.8million for the 1¼-mile (2km) extension to Edgbaston, while £27.5m has been promised by local bodies for a tram stop at the proposed Curzon HS2 station.

An impression of how trams will look on the future Midland Metro extension to Edgbaston. Midland Metro Alliance

The Edgbaston extension will include five new stops – at the Town Hall, Centenary Square, Brindley Place, and at two others either side of the Five Ways roundabout in Edgbaston – that will be served by up to 10 trams an hour at peak times when it opens in spring 2021.

The Department for Transport’s £59.8m completes the £149m budget, which also includes £84m raised through the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), Birmingham City Council, Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP), and others.

Preliminary groundworks have already begun, but the funding allows the project’s major works to get underway.

Parts of the route will be built without overhead lines to limit the impact on Birmingham’s historic buildings, with these being operated by trams running on battery power.

The WMCA and GBSLEP have also made up the £27.5m needed for a tram stop at Curzon. The tram link will conenct the proposed HS2 station with the city centre, and also improve transport to Digbeth to help with growth and regeneration of the area.

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