Passenger tram services on the new West Midlands Metro extension from the Library of Birmingham to Edgbaston are set to begin from this Sunday (17th July).
Phase two of the Birmingham Westside Metro extension takes the line along Broad Street to Hagley Road adding three stops along the way at Brindleyplace, Five Ways and the end of the line at Edgbaston Village.
The extension is opened in time for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games and will offer the many visitors arriving in the city over the next few weeks a convenient and frequent service to the many hotels, hospitality businesses and entertainment venues in the area.
Trams will also be calling at all stops in Birmingham city centre including Grand Central, restoring the convenient link to regional and national rail services, and Library.
The older trams in the West Midlands Metro fleet have been undergoing an extensive repair programme as a result of cracks found in the bodypanels. Now enough vehicles have been repaired to allow passenger services to resume on the line through Birmingham city centre and the new Westside extension.
The Westside extension development has been led by Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), part of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), working with construction and design partner Midland Metro Alliance, operator Midland Metro Ltd and Birmingham City Council.
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands and WMCA chair, said: “After an unfortunately interrupted customer experience this year for Metro passengers, I’m so pleased for local residents and businesses that we’ve now reached a turning point and a comprehensive service is returning.
“Not only are tram services to Library being restored this weekend but we are also unveiling three more stops on and beyond Broad Street – which along with Brindleyplace sits at the very heart of one of our region’s most vibrant business and hospitality districts attracting locals and visitors alike.
“This news could not have come at a better time as our hotels and venues prepare to offer a warm Brummie welcome to the thousands of people coming to town for the Commonwealth Games this summer. And the vast improvement in the tram connectivity in the city centre will make it easier than ever to choose public transport – helping us to reduce congestion and tackle the climate emergency.”
Cllr Ian Ward, WMCA portfolio holder for transport and leader of Birmingham City Council said: “After the disruption to the services over the last year is fantastic to see trams once again on the city centre streets delivering passengers to our shops, entertainment venues, visitor attractions and workplaces again – just in time for Birmingham 2022.
“This new extension opens up more our city centre to fast and clean tram services which can help further reduce car use and improve our air quality. It is a crucial part of our plans to decarbonise transport in the West Midlands through investment in cleaner bus, rail and road transport as well as offering more opportunities for walking and cycling.”
Services will run every 12 to 15 minutes, with peak time frequency to increase as more trams become available for service following repair. Timetables and fare information is available on the West Midlands Metro website.