Another sure sign of the continued expansion of the West Midlands Metro has been seen this week with work commencing in Dudley Town Centre – part of the Wednesbury to Brierley Hill extension due to open in 2023.
Both the Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street, and Cllr Pat Harley, leader of Dudley Council, were present in Dudley earlier this week (Wednesday 29th January to be exact) to official break the ground in construction of the Metro line – as well as announcing a funding deal to demolish a derelict seven storey office block to clear the site for redevelopment.
Andy Street commented: “This is a massive day for Dudley, which like other towns in the West Midlands has been hit hard by changes in modern shopping habits and other factors, resulting in empty shops and offices and a lack of engaging spaces for the local community. The future success of town centres will also hinge on transport links, and so it is great to see work progressing on the Wednesbury to Brierley Hill Metro line, helping to better connect the borough of Dudley with the wider West Midlands.”
The ground breaking ceremony took place at the site of a £4.33m wall at Castle Hill, which is set to be first physical structure to be put in place of the complete extension. This phase of the project is due to be finished by the summer.
Cllr Harley said: “We plan to invest more than £700 million in the town centre over the next five years. Along with the new bus and tram interchange, and the proposed Metro extension from Wednesbury to Brierley Hill which will run through Dudley, it promises an exciting future.”
The Wednesbury to Brierley Hill line, which is scheduled to open in 2023, will run for 11km with up to 17 stops to be constructed. The line will run via Tipton and Dudley and will not only provide good access to locals from these areas but will also see the Black Country Living Museum connected to Birmingham by the Metro – so you will be able to travel by tram to a catch a tram from an earlier era! Investigations are continuing whether part of the route will be built without overhead.