Priestfield is to become the northern terminus of Midland Metro once again from mid-June for six months to allow for further rail replacement and road surfacing work. You may remember that the line north from Priestfield to Wolverhampton St George’s was previously closed between September 2014 and March 2015 for much delayed rail replacement works so this will not be a new role for Priestfield.
From mid-June it is planned that trams from Grand Central will run at the usual frequency as far as Priestfield with replacement buses completing the journey to The Royal and Wolverhampton St George’s. All being well – and hopefully this time there won’t be the problem of uncharted mine workings being discovered – the full line would reopen in time for Christmas.
The leaflet on the works confirms that 1.35km of track between Priestfield and The Royal will be replaced this time (previous work saw the track between The Royal and Wolverhampton St George’s replaced). This actually means that 2.7km of track will need to be replaced as it is double track. Improved drainage will also be put in place at the same time along with a new road surface.
Phil Hewitt, Metro Programme Director for Transport for West Midlands, said: “The Midland Metro is an essential part of our transport system across the region and since its extension to Birmingham city centre, significantly more people are choosing to use it to travel in a sustainable way. Undertaking these works is vital to ensure the continued success of the Midland Metro network, which will be complemented by a number of other extensions across the region, ultimately making travelling by public transport significantly easier in years to come.”
The works will be undertaken by the Midland Metro Alliance with their director Alejandro Moreno commenting: “Although we appreciate that there will be some disruption to those living, working and travelling to and from Wolverhampton for the duration of the works, we are working closely with local businesses along Bilston Road to ensure we can accommodate their needs where possible. We always aim to minimise our impact, however, you may see or hear us at work. In order to complete the works as quickly as possible, some night work will be necessary. As well as replacing the tram track, we will also be resurfacing the road which should ensure a much improved environment for both tram and road users once the work is complete.”
Full details of the dates of the closure have yet to be announced.
* Meanwhile the works currently taking place close to Grand Central tramstop have been confirmed as being “improvements to the public realm” including repaving the area “in order for the palette of materials to co-ordinate with Grand Central and the current Metro terminus”.