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Government confirms £250M for Metro extension

Government confirms £250M for Metro extension

🕔20.Nov 2017

Budget week has started with the Government confirming £250m for improving transport infrastructure in the West Midlands, reports Kevin Johnson

Following the announcement, Mayor Andy Street confirmed the intention to use it for the extension of the Midland Metro from Wednesbury to Brierley Hill.

The extension will run through Dudley to the DY5 Enterprise Zone at Brierley Hill (which WMCA says is expected to create 7,000 jobs), linking both towns to the rail network for the first time since the 1960s.

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, said:

The Midland Metro extension to Brierley Hill is the WMCA’s priority transport project and the £250m from Government means we can now get underway on a project that is shovel-ready.

The importance of this extension is difficult to understate.

It will open up sites for housing and regeneration and reconnect Dudley and Brierley Hill to the rail network for the first time in decades.

Perhaps most importantly, it connects the DY5 Enterprise Zone to the network and supercharges proposals to create thousands of jobs in Brierley Hill.

This has been a long time coming – many decades in fact – but because of the WMCA presenting a compelling case to Government, we are finally able to start work, subject to board approval.

We now begin looking at the next projects we want to fund, with the extension of the Metro to Eastside to connect with the HS2 station at Curzon and the reopening of the Camp Hill line very much in our sights.

Philip Hammond, Chancellor of the Exchequer, is expected in the West Midlands today where he will be a passenger in a driverless vehicle. A number of wags on Twitter have already pointed out that it will not be a completely unique episode for the Cabinet Minister in Theresa May’s minority government.

The Wednesbury to Brierley Hill Metro extension will run largely along an existing, disused heavy rail corridor. It will deviate from this corridor to access Dudley town centre, Merry Hill and the terminus at Brierley Hill.

The route is 11 kilometres long and includes 17 stops, including four provisional stops.

When the line opens commuters in Dudley will be 40 minutes from the new HS2 station at Curzon Street in Birmingham city centre.

WMCA says it will align employment, education, health and tourism along the corridor, stimulating investment in the Black Country and enabling the building of 50,000 homes and bringing 170 hectares of brownfield land.

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