Planning application submitted for expansion of Wednesbury Depot

Since the now West Midlands Metro network opened in 1999 all the trams have been kept and maintained at the depot in Wednesbury with 21 Urbos3 trams currently part of the fleet. Looking to the future and with additional trams on order from CAF for the rapidly increasing network a planning application has now been submitted to expand the depot to include additional outside stabling facilities and further extensions to the buildings on site.

Over the next few years the 21 strong fleet of trams will be at least doubled with 21 3rd generation Urbos trams on order from CAF and the option of a possible extra 29 on top of this, depending on the approval and construction of extra lines.

With this increase in trams in mind the depot will need to be significantly increased and this new planning application states: “Proposed expansion of the operational, maintenance and stabling capacity for the West Midlands Metro network, including additional stabling facilities, 3 storey rear and side extensions to the Operations and Maintenance Centre, new wash and sand plant, and additional car parking spaces”.

If this application is given the go-ahead there would be space for 46 trams on site with the current space being maximised to provide additional stabling roads with a spur also provided from the depot to the new line to Brierley Hill. As part of the expansion there would be an increase in staff employed on site from 244 to 352 and an extra 64 car parking spaces provided.

The application was submitted just before Christmas 2020 and a decision is due by the end of March 2021.

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