Trains, not trams, says environmental campaigner

A spokesman for the Mayor of the West Midlands said: “The extension of the West Midlands Metro tram line, which is now under construction from Wednesbury to Dudley, Merry Hill and Brierley Hill, was identified as the most cost-effective way of providing this improved connectivity for both local residents and businesses.

“This is largely because the use of light rail enables a high frequency service to operate providing direct access to both the heart of Dudley town centre and the Merry Hill shopping centre.

“This would not be possible with a traditional train service, which would be unlikely to justify more than a half hourly frequency service and which would be confined to the former railway alignment rather than providing access to those areas to which people actually want to travel.

“The West Midlands Metro Wednesbury – Brierley Hill extension will also be connected onto the existing West Midlands Metro line at Wednesbury, providing direct links to Birmingham, Wolverhampton and West Bromwich and will also provide the opportunity to change at Dudley Port Station for local train services.

“Trains stopped running on this route many decades ago and their reinstatement has not been a priority for the rail industry. However as a result of the investment in Metro we are seeing a number of bridges and structures along the route repaired or removed and rebuilt. This could potentially open up options longer term for the development of freight and passenger rail services, in parallel with Metro, along the wider Walsall to Stourbridge route in future.”

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