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New CGI images show how trams will look running through region

New CGI images have been unveiled showing how trams will look running through Walsall, Chelmsley Wood and along Birmingham’s Hagley Road.

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West Midlands Mayor Andy Street has revealed the images to provide a glimpse of the future of public transport in the region.

They show the planned Metro lines from Birmingham to Halesowen along the Hagley Road, from Wednesbury to Walsall, and through East Birmingham to the airport.

In October last year, it was announced the completion of the West Midlands Metro tram line to Brierley Hill town centre was among the projects which would receive full funding following the cancellation of the HS2 northern line.

Transport for West Midlands, part of the West Midlands Combined Authority, received a £100 million investment for existing tram extensions, including the final phase the Wednesbury to Brierley Hill Metro route.

CGI image of a Metro tram running along Birmingham’s Hagley Road

The line was originally due to open in its entirety last year, but rising costs led to the announcement in 2022 that it would be broken down into different stages.

The first phase, from Wednesbury to Dudley town centre, is due to be open later this year.

Mr Street, whose role will be contested in an election in May, has pledged to see that happen as well as see the Metro extension to Brierley Hill completed by 2027.

He has also promised to get trams running to the Clayton Hotel, near Moor Street and Birmingham City University, in 2025/26, and the Eastside Metro extension to Digbeth as soon as HS2 works allow.

CGI image of a Metro tram running through the centre of Chelmsley Wood

His other pledges for the Metro include increasing the number of in-service trams to boost the frequency of services and reduce overcrowding at rush hour, as well as committing to keeping Metro fares as low as possible.

Mr Street said: “Since I launched my 2040 Transport Plan, our network has seen real progress, thanks to the £6.1 billion investment we have brought in.

“Right now, new railways stations are being built, right now the Metro is being extended to connect more and more communities, and right now passenger numbers on our buses are back to pre-pandemic levels, thanks to better, cleaner vehicles and some of the UK’s lowest fares.

“We are also seeing the roll-out of hundreds of new clean buses across the region, with Coventry having more electric buses than anywhere else outside London.

“Building a transport system of this scale is a huge endeavour, with all kinds of challenges and hurdles, but I want our region to have a network that is as good as anywhere in the world – and we are doing it. It is happening.

“We are making massive investments now that will benefit generations to come – that’s why these CGI images are so powerful, because they show what residents can expect in the near future.

“This isn’t a pipe dream – after decades of underinvestment in our transport system, it is happening.

“When I became mayor, this region was spending £38 million a year on transport. Now, on average, we are spending £407 million per year – that’s a 10-fold increase.”

Six candidates will contest next month's election to become the mayor for the West Midlands.

Richard Parker will be the Labour candidate. Sunny Virk will stand for the Liberal Democrats, Elaine Williams for Reform UK, while Siobhan Harper-Nunes will be the Green Party candidate. Akhmed Yakoob will stand as an indpendent.