The route of the Midland Metro extension through Digbeth in central Birmingham has been chosen following the results of a recent consultation into the plans. This extension is part of the Eastside line which will also serve the new HS2 railway station due to be built at Curzon Street.
The route of first section of the Eastside line had already been agreed last year and will see trams leave the current City Centre extension under construction at Bull Street and then travel via Albert Street and on to the HS2 railway station at Curzon Street. But further funding was secured which allowed this line to be extended to Digbeth with a public consultation launched last year to find the preferred route for the line.
74% of those who answered the consultation were in favour of the plan to run for 1.5km from the HS2 station along New Canal Street and Meriden Street before turning left on to High Street Deritend. The line will then continue along the centre of the road with a stop close to the junction of Milk Street for Digbeth Coach Station and the Custard Factory and it will then run into Adderley Street where trams will terminate.
Cllr Keith Linnecor, Centro’s lead member for the transport network, said: “I would like to thank everyone who gave their views and in doing so have helped shape the city’s future transport system. This extension has an important role to play in making sure the region has the transport connections it needs to support economic growth and jobs. Tens of thousands of people in the Black Country and Birmingham already have access to the Metro and this extension will give them a direct link to the high speed rail network, which in turn will provide connections to key national and international destinations. It will also offer that same connectivity to people in the east of Birmingham and help in the movement of the 12,000 West Midlands people who are expected to arrive at the HS2 station every hour.”
Extra trams would be ordered for the extension and this coupled with the construction works would come to approximately £130 million. Although this is a major step in the plans for the line it is still a long way from coming to fruition. Government approval – through a Transport and Works Act Order – has to be sought before construction can commence. Centro believe it will be 2023 before trams are running to Digbeth.