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Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Summer of progress for Black Country Metro route across Sandwell and Dudley

Those living or working in the Sandwell and Dudley boroughs will see considerable progress on the highly-anticipated Metro route, which will connect them to Birmingham and Wolverhampton, with further works set to take place throughout the summer.

Construction along Castle Hill in Dudley town centre will reach a significant milestone on Monday 27 June 2022 when activity switches to the opposite side of the busy thoroughfare following completion of track laying. The works are part of the Wednesbury to Brierley Hill Metro extension, which is being designed and built by the Midland Metro Alliance on behalf of Transport for West Midlands (TfWM).

One-way traffic will continue to be maintained in the direction of Castlegate island and all businesses in the area remain accessible and open as usual.

Marilyn Grazette, TfWM Programme Sponsor, said: “It’s fantastic to be at this stage in the project where we’re able to show off the work which has been done so far including the significant progress along Castle Hill. Businesses and the town’s fantastic visitor offerings near to where we are working remain open as usual and they would love to see you this summer.”

Since works got underway in March 2020 a considerable amount of activity has taken place, including utility upgrades and diversions, removal of the existing road surface, creation of concrete track beds, installation of ducting for system integration and a total of 350 metres of rail laid. These works will be replicated when construction moves to the opposite side of the street in the coming days.

Meanwhile, in Sandwell, two purpose-built structures which are fit for a modern tramway will be installed above Sedgley Road East and New Road after the aged structures were removed back in the summer of 2020.

There will be a localised road closure on New Road between Jonah Drive and Bramah Way for nine weeks beginning on Saturday 16 July. Bramah Way will become one-way towards Eagle Lane. Vehicular access will remain for immediately adjacent properties and the alliance’s dedicated Stakeholder Liaison Officer will be speaking with relevant properties to answer any further questions.

Elsewhere in Tipton, in order for a second new bridge deck to be installed, another localised road closure will begin from Tuesday 26 July on a section of Sedgley Road East where the road meets Park Lane West. The bridge will be installed, and the road re-opened, early in September.

Tom Maplethorpe, Project Director at the Midland Metro Alliance, said: “The works to install these new structures are another exciting step forward in this project. We do, however, recognise for those in the Tipton area, the localised closures will cause some slight disruption and we aim to limit this where possible.”

Those traveling along affected areas during this time are being asked to:

  • plan ahead and leave more time for your journeys, as you’ll need more time for your journey to take account of the closures that will be in place;
  • follow the @wmroads Twitter feed for real time traffic updates;
  • be aware that there will also be pedestrian diversions in place as footpaths where the construction team are working will be temporarily closed;

In addition, public transport users are also being advised that bus services in the area may run on amended routes and they should check with their operator before they travel.

Mark Corbin, Director of Network Resilience, at TfWM, said: “The closure will be in place throughout the summer and during this time delays are likely, so we are asking people to consider their journeys where they can – this is especially important as we are expecting roads and public transport to be busier during the Games.”

The Metro extension will boost public transport in the Black Country, providing much-needed links to the existing heavy and light rail networks, and helping to connect people to education, training and career opportunities further afield in the West Midlands.

Photo credit: MMA

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