Some West Midlands Metro trams running again

Trams are back up and running across the West Midlands - but with a reduced service while some of the fleet are repaired.

Boris Johnson drove one of the West Midlands Metro trams in the run-up to this year's elections
Boris Johnson drove one of the West Midlands Metro trams in the run-up to this year's elections

A total of 21 West Midlands Metro trams were pulled from service on Friday after the vehicle manufacture identified cracks in the underframe structure.

Inspections have now been completed and repairs have started on the vehicles affected by the fault, a spokesman confirmed.

The number of trams available will be reduced while the cracks are repaired meaning services will run at a maximum of every 10 minutes compared to the usual six to eight minutes until the full fleet is back in action.

A spokesman for West Midlands Metro said: "Services will resume from the start of service on Tuesday with some changes to the normal timetable.

"Trams will operate between Wolverhampton St George’s and Bull Street only, every 10 minutes throughout the day and every 15 minutes after 19:00.

"We will increase the frequency of our service as the affected trams are repaired and return to service. We are sorry for the inconvenience that the service suspension has caused. Thank you for your continued understanding while we work hard to resume a full service as soon as possible."

Metro tickets and passes were valid on some alternative modes of transport including some bus services, West Midlands Railway and Avanti train services, whilst they were out of service.

Steve McAleavy, managing director Midland Metro Ltd, said on Friday: "Firstly I want to say how sorry we are for the inconvenience the suspension has caused to the many people who depend on West Midlands Metro services everyday.

"The Metro team have done an outstanding job during the pandemic to continue to deliver safe and reliable services, so it is a great disappointment that we have had to suspend services just when people are travelling more confidently."

Mr McAleavy said the manufacturer of the fleet of CAF Urbos 3 trams –ad indentified cracks in the under-frame structure at either end of the tram and they were unable to assure Metro chiefs the cracks did not represent a safety issue if they continued to run.

He added: "Our first priority is to ensure the safety of our customers and our colleagues and therefore the right thing to do was to remove the trams from service whilst inspections are carried out."

Eight new trams were brought in recently from Spain as part of a multi-million pound expansion of the network. Work has been ongoing in Wolverhampton city centre over recent years to extend the Metro line to the rebuilt train station.

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.

Top Stories

More from the Express & Star

UK & International News