The final extension currently planned to be delivered by the Midland Metro Alliance will see the route from the Birmingham Eastside Extension [insert hyperlink to project page] extended further eastwards by 17km to serve Solihull and terminate at the High Speed 2 (HS2) interchange station, allowing passenger access by tram to the airport, National Exhibition Centre and Genting Arena when open for passenger service in 2026.
The route is the transport element of a regeneration plan for the area. An important driver being the linking of the two HS2 termini with the Black Country by tram (as well as everywhere in between) and encouraging more of the general public to choose green transport options for their day-to-day travel.
When the route is proposed to open in 2026, it will increase employment opportunities across the region allowing people in this area to easily travel throughout the West Midlands. Similarly, the construction of the route would provide a number of job opportunities with the Midland Metro Alliance as we are dedicated to building the tramway with local resources and labour, ensuring the region truly benefits from the growth of the region’s tram network.
The headline benefits of this route are…
- Modal shift to tram, resulting in journey time savings and reduced congestion along with the associated environmental benefits, such as improved air quality and reduction in noise
- Improving accessibility to the west of the city and paving the way for future extensions further out to the west of Birmingham
- Reduction in accidents
- Regeneration benefits including the interface with Enterprise zone, and the major developments
What is the outline programme for delivery?
This extension requires a new Transport and Works Act Order (TWAO) application to be submitted. This will provide the powers to construct, maintain and operate the tramway between Birmingham and Solihull.
A Business Case was submitted in spring 2018 and is currently being considered by the Government in order to unlock the further development funding required to take the project through its next steps of route design, public consultation and preparation of the TWAO application.
The TWAO application is to occur in late 2018. If this application is approved, construction is planned to start in 2023, with the extension set to be opened to service in 2026.
What service is expected to run on the extension?
- Service frequency will be six minutes service during peak times with a 15 minute service off-peak.
- Monday to Friday: 04:40 to 00:15
- Saturday: 04:40 to 01:00
- Sunday: 07:20 to 00:10 at 15 minute frequency