£130m Midland Metro package formalised

Centro and National Express have set out a £130 million package of improvements for the Midland Metro.

More than £128 million is being spent on 20 new trams, an extended maintenance depot at Wednesbury and an extension between Snow Hill station and New Street.

The ‘Metro Forward’ partnership has now been formally signed by Centro chairman Councillor John McNicholas and National Express UK Bus managing director Peter Coates.

Midland Metro extension
Artist impression of Midland Metro extension.

In April, Centro signed a contract with rolling stock manufacturer CAF for up to 25 new trams.

The new trams, which will start revenue service in 2014, will replace the current 16-strong fleet and manage the growth in passenger numbers that has been predicted once the 1.3 km extension between Snow Hill and New Street – via Bull Street, Corporation Street and Stephenson Street – is open.

Cllr McNicholas said: “The Metro is the region’s most reliable and punctual form of public transport and already offers passengers an excellent service.

“Yet this new agreement cements the commitment of our two organisations to bring passengers even more benefits and to work closely together as the system undergoes some exciting changes, not least the return of trams to the streets of Birmingham.”

Mr Coates added: “This new agreement will see big customer experience improvements to an already industry leading service.  It is also great news for the region with 1,300 extra jobs being created and a £50 million a year boost to the economy.”

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