Midland Metro to shut for two weeks

The Midland Metro tram system is to be shut down for two weeks causing massive disruption for more than 14,000 passengers a day.

The Midland Metro tram system is to be shut down for two weeks causing massive disruption for more than 14,000 passengers a day.

The shutdown is to allow for almost £1m of work to be done.

Transport chiefs say the overhead lines, installed in 1999 when the line first opened, are wearing out and need to be replaced at a cost of £430,000.

A further £530,000 is to be spent overhauling the communications and control systems.

But the work is going to mean commuters travelling between Birmingham Snow Hill and Wolverhampton city centre will have to make alternative arrangements.

The first week's closure will be during the autumn between Birmingham Snow Hill and Black Lake at West Bromwich.

The second will be between Black Lake and Priestfield and is expected to take place in spring 2011.

Transport authority Centro and Travel Midland Metro are looking at options for alternative transport, such as replacement buses, during the work.

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Comments for: "Midland Metro to shut for two weeks"


- and what about the section between Priestfield and Wolverhampton terminus where the track side road surface also needs repair?

Rob H

And who is paying for this???

Hopefully not the council taxpayer!!!! There are better things the council can spend the money on....

Sharon Barnes

That explains why there as been 2 price rises in less then 7th months

Craig, Bilston

As well as the overhead lines being replaced, how about making the platforms at each stop longer so extra carriages can be used. Over crowding on the trams is problem. The trams look abit worst for wear aswell so how about giving them a overheal? Lets get value for money.


great more problems on the roads with all these extra vehicles. when are the powers that be going to realise that the uk roads all need a major overhall. there not big enough for the amount of vehicles that use them

Eileen Ward-Birch

I wonder if this will ease the parking difficulties in Bilston and vindicate those of us who say too many commuters are taking advantage of our free shoppers car parks.

Paul Blake

I think you will find its advertised as Centro Park and Ride and not Bilston Park and Shop.

Anyway, you should also vent your anger at the new Police station build as that has taken away 50% of the original available space. Can you not park at Supermarket/Superstore car park across the road?


It's going to be an absolute nightmare! It's hard enough to get to work on time as it is when the trams never run to schedule!

Believe me, as one of the commuters who parks in Bilston it's something I'd rather not have to do every day but we don't have a great deal of choice parking wise. Especially for parents like myself who are stuck to a time schedule after dropping my child off at nursery!

I can't afford to start paying £5 to £10 a day in parking just to get to work, and that's obviously what the shoppers would rather us do!

Eileen Ward-Birch

You are taking up valuable spaces that stop people who need to be in Bilston from parking. Have you no thought for those who bring the money intot he town and the people who attend weddings and funerals at the Church?

Why shouldn't you pay?


I believe these are public car parks for use by everyone in Bilston, not just shoppers! There are limited park and rides for the Metro and they all get full very quickly, how about some compassion for us workers who are struggling to get to work on time with a mediocre travel network!


I would love the time to shop in Bilston but I have to work to support my family and actually can't afford to be spending huge amounts on parking, which is why I park in a free 'public' car park. Ideally I would be working closer to home but at present don't really have that option, so I park where I am able to park in the time I have available to get me to a tram.


5- Dave

We need better public transport, not more road capacity - it's an incontrovertible and universally accepted truth that increased road capacity leads to increased car use which is detrimental on so many levels even a child could grasp that it’s not the way forward.

Solid cycle networks, the economic benefits of which are staggering in comparison to the investment required, coupled with a well planned public transport system are the only way ahead; yet with the British propensity to faff and over-legislate we’re not likely to see anything like this for a long time… meanwhile, Europe and even gas guzzling America storms ahead of us..

Louise, Wolverhampton

And for those of us who have already purchased an annual travel pass for the metro only, are we expected to pay more to use a different mode of transportation - I should think not!!!


Centro and Travel Midland Metro are committed to working together to make sure Metro passengers get the best tram service possible. The tram system is already the West Midlands most reliable mode of transport, and this essential overhead line upgrade will help us to make sure it maintains its great record of almost 100 per cent reliability in to the future, reducing the risk of disruption in the future. The communications upgrade will provide better announcements, and make it much easier for depot staff to respond to passengers’ comments and monitor CCTV, providing much better customer service for the public.

Unfortunately it will be necessary to close the tram system in part over two one week periods to upgrade the overhead lines as doing the work in any other way would take significantly longer and cause more disruption to passengers over an extended period. We are working closely with Travel Midland Metro to ensure alternative arrangements are in place for passengers while the upgrades are taking place, and will make sure we let people have all the information they need well in advance of the closure.

PJW Holland

and yet... Wolverhampton once boasted the most extensive trolley bus network with a significantly larger and more complex overhead system and never had to close. Maintenance was carried out overnight.

Another reason to abolish the pseudo-regional quango in charge of transport and bring back the responsibility to local level.

King Long

So I take it you would have no problem with the council undertaking two weeks of overnight roadworks outside your house?


Our local tramway in the Paris suburbs T1 does this every summer for parts of the line.Likewise the centre part of the express underground line C.This usually leads also to tempers and a certain amount of chaos. The only city that seems to do better is New York where the underground already runs all night.

Sarah, Bilston

I would like to make a comment, firstly, re the parking in Bilston - I am sure that if there was a 'Metro Only' car park available, the shoppers of Bilston would have no hesitation in parking on there when the other car parks were full. How about using public transport yourselves into Bilston, if you have time to shop. Some people have to be at work early.

Secondly, Centro, I do hope that our Metro passes will be accepted on trains (all routes) as due to the high volume of people that use the tram during rush hour, we should not just be expected to get on a cramped, crowded bus that takes approx. 2 hours during rush hour in each direction.

Eileen Ward-Birch

So, you would prefer those who actually bring money into the town, by using our small businesses to struggle home with heavy bags while you take up their parking spaces.

Perhaps we should have a tram users only park where you can buy a place. There are other stops designated for park and ride, why use Bilston Central?

Sarah , bilston

Well said Paul Blake!!!

I will make things easier for all shoppers of bilston, metro users generally tend to use the st leonards car park for convenience... Also available is the largest car parks by the Market, behind majors, bow st, top of town by lidl, the new police station and morrisons. Now by my reckoning, the commuters are in the minority in this instance!!!


I'm a daily user & I can remember the problems last year when it was closed for nearly a week when it needed repairs.

If, as Centro say, this will make it more reliable in the future isn't this a good thing ?, what's the saying short term pain, long term gain ?

In this time of government cuts it's also good to see money being spent on something which will benefit the people of the West Midlands.


Does this maintenance also mean the Metro doors will open and close properly when they are supposed to instead of jamming causing the driver of the tram to yield his trusty lever hidden under the seats to do some basic mechanical adjustments to enable the jammed tram door to operate properly. Causing much anquish and frustration to the Metro passengers who are trying to get to work and have to wait for the door to operate properly before they can proceed. Is this really 2010???

I used to travel on the tram buses many years ago when the buses were connected to overhead cables. And when the overhead connecting road came loose the bus conductor would have to reconnect the bus to the overhead cables to enable the bus to continue.

Some things never change.

Mike Krumstets

Two weeks sounds reasonable for repairs and upgrades.

Some of the commuters could always get on a bike and cycle, you might even enjoy it.

Anyway, it's not the end of the world and it's all for a godd cause ie: A tram system that will continue to work rather than one that doesn't work at all.

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