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Midland Metro extension to cost £50m

Wolverhampton | News | Published:

An extension of the Midland Metro in Wolverhampton city centre is set to be made even bigger and cost £50 million, the Express & Star can reveal today.

An extension of the Midland Metro in Wolverhampton city centre is set to be made even bigger and cost £50 million, the Express & Star can reveal today.

Trams will glide up to the University of Wolverhampton in Stafford Street and may even come back to the bus station along the city's ring road, under a redesign of the current plans. Transport bosses today announced they had taken designs back to the drawing board following consultation with businesses and passengers in the city.

Plans have been under discussion for more than a year to extend the existing line from St George's terminus and take trams around the city centre, down Lichfield Street, to the new £22.5m bus station, and back.

But concerns were raised that passengers would end up going nowhere by sitting on trams that go to the train station and come back along the same stretch of track.

Transport authority Centro will unveil new plans in November after the government has completed a review of all public spending.

They are hopeful that despite increasing the cost of the project from £30m to £50m, they will be able to make a good case.

Route

Extension plans for the Metro have been on the cards ever since the existing 23-stop route between Wolverhampton and Birmingham opened in 1999.

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An £81m extension of the scheme in Birmingham was promised funding under the Labour government but is facing an uncertain future.

Centro chief executive Geoff Inskip said: "The original plan was for a single line to the railway station and back out.

"We believe we can improve it by taking the Metro to places people need to go, such as the University of Wolverhampton.

"This will give people the option of using the tram to go across Wolverhampton. Also passengers don't have to go to the train station and back if they don't actually need to go there."

EXCLUSIVE by Daniel Wainwright

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