Centro seeks permission for Wolverhampton extension

Transport authority Centro has applied to the Secretary of State for the powers needed to extend the Midland Metro in Wolverhampton.

Centro has submitted a Transport and Works Act Order Application to deliver an £18 million extension of the network within Wolverhampton City Centre.

The plans would include a new section connecting the city’s railway station, becoming the latest phase of a major expansion of the light rail network.

Rendering of tram stop at Curzon Street HS2 station.

Rendering of tram stop at Curzon Street HS2 station.

Work is already underway on a 1.4-kilometre extension which will create stops at Birmingham New Street and Snow Hill stations and there are further plans to continue on through the Paradise Circus development and on to Centenary Square.

Other proposals include links to the Black Country and a connection to the new HS2 station.

Paul Griffiths, Metro programme director at Centro, said: “Submitting this application represents the next step forward in our plans to extend the Midland Metro through Wolverhampton city centre, which will not only improve the service for passengers but also provide a welcome boost to the economy.

“By taking the Metro to the railway station it will make it even easier for passengers to move between tram, bus and train and better connect people to jobs, education and training opportunities.

“The extension will also support the planned redevelopment of land next to the station which is expected to bring £100 million of investment to the region and create 1,400 new jobs, which is of course great news for the city.

“This adds to already exciting times for the Metro, with new state-of-the-art trams set to start running on tracks this summer and the extension to connect Birmingham’s New Street and Snow Hill stations due for completion next year.”

The £18 million needed to complete the project – a price based on the assumption that the extension will be completed by April 2018 – will come from a variety of sources, including The Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership (BCLEP), Wolverhampton City Council and Centro Prudential Borrowing.

The £128 million Midland Metro extension began in February 2012 and as well as creating a longer network, the project includes a fleet of 20 new Urbos 3 trams and enlarging the tram depot at Wednesbury.