No sooner had there been confirmation of Government support for the Midland Metro Edgbaston extension than work on the next phase commenced with one of Birmingham’s most iconic statues being lifted out of Victoria Square. Iron: Man, created by Anthony Gormley, was standing in the direct path of the extension and will be placed in store before returning to a new position in Victoria Square.
The extension will be a continuation of the Birmingham City Centre line from Grand Central travelling to Edgbaston via Victoria Square, Paradise Circus, Centenary Square, Broad Street and Five Ways. It will include section of overhead free running with the CAF Urbos 3 trams to be fitted with batteries to enable sensitive areas to be unspoilt by infrastructure. Trams should run to Centenary Square by 2019/20 and Edgbaston in 2021.
Andy Street, Mayor for the West Midlands, witnessed the removal of the statue: “Extending the Metro through the city centre to New Street station has already proved a tremendous success. People like the trams and want more of them. That’s why we will be tripling the size of the network over the coming decade so our towns and cities are not only better connected to each other but also to the HS2 high speed rail line. This will help create a transport network that can underpin economic growth and jobs and bring greater prosperity for everyone in the West Midlands.”