Final go-ahead for Black Country Metro extension

The West Midlands Combined Authority has given the final go-ahead for the cash to finance the Wednesbury to Brierley Hill rail link.

It is the “final hurdle” for the highly anticipated project, which will link Dudley with Birmingham, Wolverhampton and the national rail network.

Work will start later this year on the scheme which is projected to trigger 2,000 new homes a year, almost one million square feet of prime commercial space and 34,000 permanent jobs.

The increase in the number of people paying council tax from the extra new homes that could be built is also estimated to bring in £580million, giving vital funding to local services.

It will also improve connectivity to the DY5 business and innovation enterprise zone at Waterfront in Brierley Hill, as well as linking in with the planned multi-million pound transport interchange in Dudley town centre.

Transport for West Midlands has started a feasibility study to investigate what mode of transport will best link Brierley Hill to Stourbridge – whether that be rail, light rail, Metro or bus – to further improve connectivity in the borough. Councillor Qadar Zada, leader of Dudley Council, said:

“There’s no doubt this is a trailblazer project which will have a massive impact on the borough, beyond transportation. It will be the catalyst for new homes, commercial opportunities, jobs and much more for this borough.

"It’s taken a long time to get to this point, but the funding makes this scheme a reality and I am very much looking forward to seeing work start in Dudley as soon as possible.”

Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street, added:

"We’re investing billions in public transport networks to bring the communities of the West Midlands closer together.

"The Wednesbury to Brierley Hill line will be a true game-changer, bringing huge benefits to this part of the Black Country and acting as a catalyst for new housing, jobs and leisure opportunities.

"It will allow people to reach new employment sites – such as Castle Hill, the DY5 Enterprise Zone and Merry Hill, and forecasts predict it could lead to an almost 30% increase in permanent jobs in this part of the Black Country. That’s good news for everyone.

"I also welcome TfWM’s feasibility study, which will ensure we get the best possible public transport routes to link Brierley Hill to Stourbridge and other areas of the West Midlands."

Once up and running, there will be up to 17 new stops along the 11 kilometres of track. The new system will also reduce journey times by half compared to travelling by bus.


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