The Department for Transport are to give £5 million in funding to Midland Metro to allow for track replacement in the Bilston Road area of Wolverhampton this summer. The tracks in this area are now 15 years old and are said to be badly worn and if not replaced soon the Metro service reliability would suffer in the future.
Baroness Kramer, Transport Minister, made the announcement during a visit to Birmingham to see the latest progress on the Midland Metro extension to New Street: “This tram line is really important to the local economy. It provides a frequent link to key areas of employment, development and regeneration. The £5m we are providing today will both help to maintain the A41, a key route in Wolverhampton and will also ensure that the Midland Metro system continues to be an efficient and attractive way for people to get around.”
It is planned that the work to replace the track will take place during the school summer holidays when Midland Metro traditionally carries fewer passengers. The work will include the replacement of the track, including crossovers, and will also see road resurfacing.
Cllr Roger Horton, Centro’s lead member for Rail and Metro, said: “These are exciting times for the Metro and I’m delighted that the Minister has been able to come and see how the tram is helping to transform the city. But the funding announced today will bring real benefits for the five million passengers who already use the Metro. The track upgrade in Wolverhampton will mean more comfort for passengers and will be particularly noticeable in terms of less noise and vibration when our new fleet of trams start going into service later this year.”