Overhaul on way as Midland Metro is rebranded
The Midland Metro is to be re-branded by the region’s combined authority when it takes over the running of the service next month.
The tram service will be known as West Midlands Metro from June 24.
Transport for West Midlands, part of the West Midlands Combined Authority, is taking over the service from National Express.
The change will mean a major re-branding job on trams and at stations. It comes ahead of a £200 million extension, which will see the Metro reach new parts of the Black Country.
It currently operates between Wolverhampton and Birmingham but the expansion will take it from Wednesbury through to Tipton, Merry Hill shopping centre into Dudley town centre.
The Metro is being brought under the control of the combined authority, which is hoping to enhance the status of the service and increase passenger numbers. The new route will take in several large attractions, as well as Merry Hill.
A Transport for West Midlands spokesman said: “The Midland Metro will be coming in-house from the end of June.
“The trams will be running as normal but under the remit of Transport for West Midlands.”
The new seven-mile line from Wednesbury will run along part of the former South Staffordshire railway from Wednesbury to Brierley Hill town centre with 17 stops, including at the DY5 Enterprise Zone at the Waterfront, Merry Hill Shopping Centre, Dudley Bus Station, and at Castle Hill for the Black Country Living Museum and Dudley Castle.
Construction on the extension is set to start in 2019. It is hoped it will be operating into Dudley in time for the Commonwealth Games in 2022 to take advantage of thousands sports fans visiting the region.
The work on the Metro is one of several major projects planned to transform transport infrastructure in the Black Country.
Huge rebuilding jobs are planned for Wolverhampton train station and Dudley bus station over the next few years.
Council bosses in Dudley revealed last week that the incoming arrival of the Metro had attracted a raft of investors to the town.
Deputy chief executive of Dudley Council, Alan Lunt, said: “We think the Wednesbury to Brierley Hill Metro extension will be transformative for Dudley.