Centro have launched a public consultation into plans to extend Midland Metro through the heart of Digbeth. Previously a route from Bull Street in the city centre to the proposed HS2 station at Curzon Street was agreed but during the summer further government funding was secured which will enable the line to be extended further into Digbeth and it is this route which is now out to consultation.
Two possible routes are being considered and would both link New Canal Street with a terminus and multi-storey car park at Adderley Street:
* Option 1 – this would follow Fazeley Street and then turns onto Liverpool Street. There would be a stop close to the junction with Great Barr Street and Heath Mill Lane. Trams would then continue along Liverpool Street before turning into Adderley Street. This line would be just over 1km
* Option 2 – this would run along New Canal Street and Meriden Street and would then turn left onto High Street Deritend. The line would continue along the centre of the carriageway with a stop close to the junction of Milk Street to serve Digbeth Coach Station and the Custard Factory. Finally it would turn left into Adderley Street. This option would be just under 1.5km long.
The scheme to extend Midland Metro into Digbeth would cost up to £130 million (depending on which version is chosen) with this price including the purchase of extra trams. All being well it would be hoped to have completed the extension by 2023, well ahead of the opening of HS2 in 2026.
Cllr John McNicholas, Centro Chairman, said: “The Eastside extension will provide a direct link to HS2 and its regional, national and international connection for tens of thousands of people in the Black Country and Birmingham who already have access to the Metro. It will help cater for the movement of the 12,000 West Midlands people expected to arrive at the HS2 station every hour and provide fast and convenient public transport options for people to the east of the city. This project will help shape the future of our region and the views of the public are an important part of the process. It helps us understand the pros and cons of a scheme from their perspective and I would urge people to take this opportunity to have their say.”
A number of exhibitions are to be held in the next couple of weeks to give more details on the proposals and you can also visit the website at http://www.centro.org.uk/metro/other-metro-extensions/birmingham-eastside-extension/ for further details, including when and where you can visit the exhibition.