Birmingham metro extension work to start in September as part of £150m development

The next stage of the Birmingham Westside Metro extension is set to commence on 3 September as commuters are warned of disruption which should last for close to a year.

The line is set to be expanded from Victoria Square and Centenary Square with the Paradise Circus section of the city centre to be closed in both directions until summer 2019. It’s part of work that will see will see five new stops created; Victoria Square, Centenary Square, Brindleyplace, Five Ways and Hagley Road. 

People in the midlands are set to benefit from better links to popular attractions including the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, the International Convention Centre and Symphony Hall. Once the first phase is complete, work will then begin on the further extension to Edgbaston Five Ways. It’s hoped that the second phase should be completed and open for passengers by the end of 2021 and ahead of the 2022 Commonwealth Games being staged in Birmingham.

The city centre construction work is set to disrupt commuters for the best part of the year but the region’s metro mayor Andy Street is urging people to look at the bigger picture and understand they will reap the benefits in the long run.

“The continued expansion of the West Midlands Metro network is a real success story for the region and this extension is a major milestone in taking it forward,” he said. “That we are already at such a key stage in taking it from Birmingham City Centre up to Centenary Square and beyond to Edgbaston is really good news. Inevitably with such a massive engineering project there are going to be knock-on effects to existing traffic as work takes place, but I would urge people who may be affected to consider the bigger picture. By better connecting our towns and cities we create a transport network that strengthens economic growth, creates jobs, and helps bring greater prosperity to this region.”

The Department for Transport will be supplying £59.8m of funding to support the overall £149m cost with the remaining amount being raised via the West Midlands Combined Authority, Birmingham City Council, Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership and developers.

The metro expansion is just one part of efforts to improve sustainable transport links and transport bosses have also pledged to source much of the work to the local supply chain.

Alejandro Moreno, director of Midland Metro Alliance, said: “We recognise that there will be some disruption to those living, working, travelling and visiting the city during this vital next stage of Metro works. We are working closely with Birmingham City Council, local Business Improvement Districts, Transport for West Midlands and public transport operators to minimise impact. As with our other projects, we aim to ensure the local economy benefits by sourcing goods and labour, wherever possible, from the local supply chain.”

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