Revealed: Tube-style vision for £15bn West Midlands Metro and rail revolution
Andy Street has unveiled plans to open up eight new Metro lines and 21 new rail stations as part of a scheme to revolutionise public transport across the region.
The West Midlands Mayor's £15 billion plan, which he wants in place by 2040, will also see Metro lines running underground, 150 miles of new lines and 380 additional stops.
A new Tube-style guide was revealed at the launch yesterday in the 2040 plan for Metro and rail services in the West Midlands.
Meanwhile designs for the re-opening of the Walsall to Wolverhampton line through Darlaston and Willenhall have already been agreed and have now entered the planning stage.
Mr Street, who is bidding for a second mayoral term in May, said: "For too long we have been left behind London and Manchester, and other cities around the world. We are a world-class city region and we deserve a world-class Metro and rail network.
"In recent years we have made great progress completing the Metro extension to Centenary Square on time and on budget, and bringing the plans for the new rail stations to life in South Birmingham and the Black Country.
"But now is time for the next stage of ambition. This plan will connect communities which haven’t had Metro or rail lines for decades, and restore pride in the West Midlands."
Dudley North Marco Longhi MP said: “I am delighted to see new transport links coming to Dudley.
"This large scale investment into our local infrastructure is vital for the economy of Dudley borough and beyond.
"Dudley is very much open for business”
What the Tube-style vision looks like
The plans are expected to cost £750 million a year for the next 20 years.
The Mayor said the costs would be met by additional funding from central Government, contributions from housing and commercial developers and borrowing against the future income from ticket sales on the Metro.
As part of the Metro scheme, sections of the line will run underground using ‘cut and cover’ tunnelling, allowing traffic to drive above the Metro line where there is not enough space on narrower roads.
There are also plans for new Birmingham rail stations in Balsall Heath and at Dudley Road, along with four new stations in Coventry, where new technology such as ‘very light rail’ trams and driverless autonomous pods will be used to connect key sites such as the University of Warwick, Jaguar Land Rover, Ansty and the city centre.
Plans to extend West Midland Metro services are long-awaited inlcuding the new Wolverhampton city centre route and a line from Wednesbury to Brierley Hill, serving Dudley.
Trams are unlikely to run on the Wolverhampton Metro extension until the end of 2020, the West Midlands Mayor has revealed.
The line was completed at the end of last year but it will not be in use until the new Wolverhampton Railway Station is open.
And the Wednesbury to Brierley Hill extension is planned to start running in three years time.