Centro look to further Metro extensions

The Birmingham city centre extension of Midland Metro may still be at least 18 months away from opening but that doesn’t mean that Centro are prepared to rest on their laurels  as they are now inviting the public to comment on a further extension in Birmingham which would see the line run through Paradise Circus to Centenary Square.

These new plans would see trams run from the new stop at New Street Station (on Stephenson Street) along Pinfold Street, Victoria Square, Paradise Street and Broad Street and then terminating at Centenary Square. There would be two new stops constructed at Town Hall and Centenary Square.

The proposals have been drawn up between Centro and Birmingham City Council and would build on the work taking place to provide further connections to key venues like the ICC, Symphony Hall and Birmingham Museum and Art Galleries.

A public consultation has now been launched and will run until the end of September. This will include three exhibitions taking place in Victoria Square.

Cllr Roger Horton, Centro’s lead member for rail, said: “Work is already underway to connect the Midland Metro to both New Street and Snow Hill stations and we want to build on that and further improve the network in Birmingham city centre. These plans would play a significant role in supporting some of the major redevelopment work taking place in the city which will bring about an extra £2 billion for the economy and create up to 40,000 jobs. This extension would provide passengers with a stop right at the heart of some of Birmingham’s key destinations like the new library, the NIA and the ICC. We want to hear the thoughts of passengers and businesses and would urge them to take the time to take part in the consultation and give us their views.”

Although Centro already have permission to integrate Midland Metro with the Paradise Circus redevelopment they are now seeking to amend this slightly by eliminating the need to build a bridge over the Suffolk Street Queensway tunnels. It is aimed that a supplementary Transport and Works Act Order will be applied for by the end of this year and all being well construction would start in 2015 ahead of an opening in 2017.

* You can take part in the Public Consultation at http://www.centro.org.uk/metro/CentenaryExtension/CentenarySquareExtension.aspx

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4 Responses to Centro look to further Metro extensions

  1. Nigel Pennick says:

    Birmingham has had a raw deal out of all the ‘new’ tramways built from the 1990s, with all the cancellations of planned extensions which could have been in service by now if political interference had not stopped them being built. It is about time that a proper network was constructed, as they are doing already in Manchester and Nottingham.

    • freel07 says:

      I think you may have identified the problem in your comment where you mention ‘Birmingham’. It’s not Birmingham it is West Midlands and all the authorities must act as a united body. Merseyside and West Yorkshire had exactly the same problem, the authorities could not agree amongst themselves so central government could defeat them. In the former Greater Manchester conurbation all the authorities have combined and acted as a single powerful body, but even here much of the money has had to be raised locally rather than from central government resources. The original NET extension project was a combined job between Nottingham City Council and the County Council which gave it a stronger case. I don’t know what happened there but I think the county pulled out. Presumably the other local authorities supported the idea and so it gained approval.

      • Nigel Pennick says:

        I was not being precise enough! Yes you are right – political fragmentation dating from an earlier era, requiring the ‘joined-up government’ which used to be talked about. The effect of non-joined-up government is usually that nothing gets done, even when it is planned and a lot of money spent on preliminary work as in Leeds, Bristol and Merseyside. The abandonment of the Bristol (Avon?) tram scheme was put down to lack of cross-border agreement too.

  2. moz says:

    Would love to see a single track loop covering station drive, Dudley st, ladywell walk, hurst st and hill street with stop on station drive covering new st station and Hurst st covet china town and theatre

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