Work could start to extend the Midland Metro across the Black Country next year

The multi-million pound plans to extend the Midland Metro from Wednesbury through to Brierley Hill could start from as early next year.

Plans to extend the Metro system, which currently operates between Wolverhampton and Birmingham have been in the pipeline for nearly two decades. However, West Midlands Combined Authority  have indicated that the Metro extension is set to be the first project completed as part of the region’s devolution deal.

The extension would come from Wednesbury, linking in  Horseley Heath, Dudley Port, Dudley town centre, the Waterfront and Merry Hill, before terminating at Brierley Hill town centre. Business leaders have hailed its potential impact on the region’s economy. Dudley Council chief executive Sarah Norman tweeted:

“Good progress on Brierley Hill Metro reported at @WestMids_CA Board Meeting. Will start in 2017 & be first Devo deal scheme completed.”

Black Country LEP board member Ninder Johal added:

“For too long this region - and other parts of the UK – have been blighted by poor infrastructure. If we’re going to continue to attract inward investment then infrastructure is the number one priority.

“The formation of the West Midlands Combined Authority and the devolved funding it will bring will hopefully bring much improved infrastructure. The extension from Wednesbury to Brierley Hill is an example of that and also ties in with the extra investment into the Merry Hill shopping centre by intu.”

Dudley Council’s Conservative group leader Patrick Harley said the move was a statement of intent by the Combined Authority.

“This is something people have been talking about as a pipe dream for about 20 years,” he said.

“If we can get this done and people can see the construction, preparation and clearing of sites for tracks as quickly as 12 months’ time it will give them confidence in the merits of the combined authority. If one of the benefits is the Metro link and that’s one of the first achievements it will give people the belief (the West Midlands Combined Authority) isn’t just a Birmingham initiative.”


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