An extension of the Midland Metro tram network to Birmingham’s New Street station has finally opened.
Trams began operating from Bull Street to the Grand Central centre stop at 8am on May 30.
The opening had originally been delayed from December 2015 until early 2016 to reduce the level of disruption to retailers in the city centre over Christmas.
The £128 million extension from Snow Hill to New Street station was then slated to open on May 22. This was then pushed back after issues were identified with the track alignment.
Councillor Richard Worrall, Metro lead member for the ITA’s transport delivery committee which oversees transport body Centro, said: “It’s wonderful to see the Metro running all the way between Wolverhampton Birmingham New Street.
“It’s obviously great news for Birmingham – but also for the wider West Midlands. This extension is expected to create more than 1,300 sustainable new jobs and boost the regional economy by more than £50 million a year.”
Mike Reade, a director at Balfour Beatty director which built the extension, said: “We are delighted to join Centro and Birmingham City Council in celebrating the completion of the Birmingham City Centre Extension.
“This complex and challenging project has demanded collaborative work across the entire team and is a significant milestone for Birmingham.
“We look forward to supporting the continued investment in the infrastructure of the West Midlands to improve connectivity and support economic growth.”
I love the new Birmingham Tram system. I love the new Edinburgh Tram system. I love the new Manchester Tram system. How come central London does not have a tram system? It is because the burghers of London have been sitting on their posteriors year after year doing nothing as they habitually do. I mention the words Oxford street, Regent street, Tottenham Court Road, Charing Cross Road, Trafalgar square,Haymarket. However, this is no good because they have their fingers in their ears as they habitually do. My father took me on a tram ride along the Embankment , under a tunnel and up Kingsway, but this was only seventy years ago!
Why? Because it has a massive underground railway system.
Oxford Street has the most contaminated atmosphere of any shopping street in the world. Because it has 97 different bus routes along it and 2000 taxis every 7 minutes. Ban buses and taxis, as well as cars, and have instead a ring tram route with a two-car tram every 2 minutes in both directions, taking in Marble Arch, Oxford Circus, Tottenham Court Road, Leicester Square, Trafalgar Square, Haymarket, Regent Street. Add a couple of spur lines along Piccadilly,Tottenham Court Road,The Strand, and your customers can visit all the shops they want and come home with lungs in tact. The West End will soon have the reputation of the most accessible clean air shopping precinct in the world. That’s why!