Midland Metro: Pipers Row to shut for months as Wolverhampton tram line extended
Major work to extend the Midland Metro to Wolverhampton train station will get under way in March - with a city centre road to be closed for months.
The next phase of the extension will see the Metro line extended from the St George's terminus along Pipers Row.
Transport chiefs have confirmed Pipers Row will be shut for the duration of the works, a move which is set to create disruption for buses and city centre businesses.
The Midland Metro Alliance said the road was likely to be closed from March 12 until 'summer 2018'.
There will eventually be two new stops on the Metro, at both the bus and train station, which will also undergo a major revamp, as part of a multi-million pound scheme to link transport services in the city.
The bus station exit onto Pipers Row will be closed, with buses which use the route to instead leave onto the ring road. Pedestrians will still have access to Pipers Row.
Alejandro Moreno, director of Midland Metro Alliance, said: “Although we appreciate that there will be some disruption to those living, working and travelling through Pipers Row during the works, we are working closely with Wolverhampton council, Wolverhampton Business Improvement District and Transport for West Midlands to minimise our impact.
"As with our other projects, we aim to ensure the local economy benefits and source goods and labour, wherever possible, from the local supply chain.
"Our Engagement Team will also continue to work closely with local businesses and residents to inform them of the plans for construction during these important works.”
It comes after work to replace tram tracks on the A41 Bilston Road meant Midland Metro passengers were unable to travel beyond Priestfield for six months last year.
The work also disrupted motorists and nearby businesses, with two firms forced to close during the work which shut the A41 to traffic heading into the city.
Access to Pipers Row was also blocked from Bilston Street while tracks were replaced next to the St George's stop, causing heavy congestion at the Bilston Street Island and 20-minute delays for drivers heading into the city.
Councillor John Reynolds, cabinet member for City Economy at Wolverhampton council, said: “This tram extension is part of a total investment package of £3.7 billion across Wolverhampton.
"Easy access to different types of transportation is vital to regeneration on this scale.
"This extension will help deliver that by linking train, bus and tram more effectively and it is great to see the next phase of this fundamental element of the £150m Wolverhampton Interchange project will be on site in March.”