Express & Star

Midland Metro extension to Dudley could be sped up for Commonwealth Games

The £200 million extension of the Midland Metro through Dudley town centre to Brierley Hill could be ready a year earlier than expected in time for the Commonwealth Games in 2022.

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Transport bosses revealed they wanted to speed up work on the line, which will be extended from Wednesbury towards Dudley, to take advantage of the sporting competition being held in Birmingham.

Work was due to start in 2019 and the line open to passengers by 2023 but the launch date could now be brought forward.

Early discussions have already been held about speeding up the work and further talks are now planned with Transport for West Midlands and the Midlands Metro Alliance.

Dudley Council leader Patrick Harley said: “The announcement today that Birmingham is to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games is fantastic news for the whole region.

“With thousands of extra visitors potentially coming into the region, we recognise that the Games could prove a massive economic boost for Dudley.

“We are the historic capital of the Black Country. We have big hotels and fantastic attractions like Dudley Zoo and the Black Country Living Museum.

“We need to make it as easy as possible for visitors to get to Dudley, and to that end we will be pushing hard to can get the Metro on track a bit quicker.”

The seven-mile route will run past Dudley Zoo and Castle, into the heart of Dudley town centre and then on to the Waterfront, Merry Hill and into Brierley Hill town centre.