Posted 19th March 2015 | 5 Comments

£130m tram route decision announced

THE route of an extension to Midland Metro in Birmingham has been chosen after a public consultation.

Centro has now announced that a new tram route serving the Digbeth area will run along High Street Deritend. The headline cost will be £130 million, but that includes some additional trams. The line will improve connections to the new HS2 station at Curzon Street as well as the city's coach station and the Custard Factory complex..

The decision by transport executive Centro and Birmingham City Council follows a 74 per cent vote in favour of the High Street rather than an alternative route along Fazeley Street. 

The first section of the Eastside Metro route was agreed last year and will run between the extension currently being built at Bull Street in the city centre, via Albert Street and on to the forthcoming HS2 station.

But after Centro secured extra Government money last summer to take the extension further into Digbeth, the public were offered the chance to have their say on which of two possible routes the trams should take.

The vote means that a 1.5km route from the HS2 station will be constructed along New Canal Street and Meriden Street before turning left on to High Street Deritend, with a possible opening date of 2023.
Centro’s lead member for the transport network, Cllr Keith Linnecor, 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.”

The tram extension is a key part of the wider Birmingham Curzon HS2 Master Plan which has been drawn up by the city council and Centro to lay down a blueprint for the redevelopment of land of land around the HS2 station. The scheme includes shops, 350,000 square metres of offices, a hotel and 2,000 homes.

Reader Comments:

Views expressed in submitted comments are that of the author, and not necessarily shared by Railnews.

  • Peter, Sheffield

    @Steven Alston
    Perhaps golden rails.

  • Tony Pearce, Reading

    No news yet on the extension to the Merry Hill shopping centre at Brierley Hill via Dudley for the Midland Metro which was meant to be completed in 2011 ?

  • Adam, Birmingham

    @ Steve - it may seem a long time and a lot of money, but given the amount of underground utilities that have to be moved as part of the installation, it's no wonder that it takes so long. It's not as if the utilities will be able to dig up the road on the route of the tram line once it goes in.

  • Chris Neville-Smith, Durham, England

    Steve Alstom. yup. Building infrastructure on top of existing working infrastructure is a nightmare, especially in a city centre, as Edinburgh discovered the hard way.

    Unfortunately, the alternative isn't any better, which is to just build the cheap and easy bits. That's why Birmingham currently has a tramway with a rather lousy connection rail connection at Snow Hill only.

    In short: you can't win. The only good news is that it's nowhere near the £1bn figure.

  • Steve Alston, Crewe

    £130m and 8 years to build 1500 metres of tramway.

    Oh dear.