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Local Transport Minister gives Metro extension the green light
20/04/2012 | Channel:
Local Transport Minister Norman Baker has announced that construction can now begin on an extension to the Midland Metro from Snow Hill station through the city centre to New Street station.
The £128 million scheme will also deliver a new fleet of trams to run on the extended route. These will comprise 25 Urbos 3 trams supplied by preferred bidder CAF in a deal worth in the region of £40 million. The Department for Transport will provide £75.4 million towards the £128 million cost of the scheme which is being led by Centro, the region’s transport authority, in partnership with Birmingham City Council and the Black Country district authorities.
This decision gives final approval for Centro to forge ahead and sign contracts for the new fleet of trams, a bigger maintenance depot at Wednesbury and for the construction of the city centre extension.
Work on the £13.8 million expansion of Wednesbury depot has already begun, the contract having been awarded to Morgan Sindall. The work consists of a 42 metre extension to the east of the existing maintenance shed along with additional maintenance births, four new stabling sidings and a separate testing and commissioning shed. There will also be also upgrades to the existing overhead line, infrastructure and communications, and a new substation will be constructed at Colliery Road, West Bromwich.
The first new tram is scheduled to come into service – on the existing line – in February 2014. The city centre extension with the full new tram fleet is scheduled to be in service from March 2015.