Express & Star

Tram services between Wolverhampton and Birmingham to resume

Tram passenger services are set to return to the region on Wednesday after final safety tests were completed.

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Trams have been going through testing in recent days before the resumption of passenger services

The West Midlands Metro has been down for the past month after cracks were discovered on a number of vehicles.

But the region's Mayor Andy Street has announced that a skeleton service between Birmingham Bull Street and Wolverhampton will resume on Wednesday morning.

It is understood that almost half of the 21-tram fleet has now been repaired. Trams will run every 10 minutes.

In recent days trams have been in operation on the line between Wolverhampton and Birmingham going through rigorous safety tests ahead of the resumption of passenger services.

Mr Street said: “I am pleased that after four weeks of disruption we will, from tomorrow, be able to run a Metro service between Birmingham and Wolverhampton.

"This has returned at a critical time as we help people move around the region during the festive period for their Christmas shopping and evening engagements.

“But the situation is still not good enough for passengers, and we have to get the service back running all the way through to Library – not just Bull Street.

"I know the team at the Metro depot are working round the clock to make this happen - ensuring safe and robust repairs are carried out on the existing fleet, whilst also getting the new generation trams we have purchased ready for service.

“In the meantime I would like to apologise to passengers again for the disruption over the past month, but reassure them that the Metro is safe, ready, and back for good, and to please use it for those Christmas trips to Wolverhampton, West Bromwich and Birmingham."

Councillor Ian Brookfield, the West Midlands Combined Authority's economy and innovation chief, said: "Any service before Christmas is welcome news, even though it won't be the full service that passengers in our region are used to.

"I'd like to thank everybody involved in making sure a service is up and running."

Cracks were first spotted in a tram two years ago and services were initially suspended in June while repairs were carried out.

The latest suspension sparked fears that trams would not be running over the Christmas period, piling extra pressure on roads, rail, and buses.