Express & Star

'No one will come, it breaks my heart': West Bromwich woman says tram strikes will hurt town further

A woman who has been visiting West Bromwich for decades fears for the future of the once-thriving hub of her childhood with tram strike action looming.

West Bromwich - a 'ghost town'?

Helen Nunn, 51, said that the town she remembers as a busy place is now a ghost town, and worries that its stock will only fall further when the strikes take place later this year.

Helen Nunn recalls visiting West Bromwich when she was a little girl, with her brother, mother and father.

The 51-year-old said: "West Bromwich used to be a bustling place, but now it's a ghost town, and the tram strikes will not help that. They'll have a knock-on effect."

West Midlands Metro workers will strike for 53 days between October and January with the first day of action on October 15.

Unemployed due to medical conditions, Helen relies on the Metro as the most accessible mode of transport, and complains that buses get too crowded with no room for elderly and disabled people.

"I have a pass that I can use on the tram and the bus, but the bus is much too busy sometimes, and people often can't sit down. I like to travel on the tram, my fiancé and I go to places together.

"People won't travel on buses if they're too crowded. Those who normally come to West Bromwich for shopping won't be able to get the tram now, and it will impact our community and businesses, not only here but along the whole route.

"A friend of mine takes the tram once or twice a week to Bilston, and it's hard for them to go on the bus when it's busy. But they won't be able to.

"I don't think anyone will visit West Bromwich, it breaks my heart. I walk around and see empty shops and empty stalls in the market."

Helen would like to see people 'take any means necessary' to visit West Bromwich if they can.

"The Government talk about levelling up and bringing more business into towns, but if the transport is affected people will just stay and shop where they live."