The £250m Metro extension from Brierley Hill to Wednesbury has been officially given the go-ahead by Theresa May – with the leader of Dudley Council hailing it as “a real game changer” for the borough.
Councillor Patrick Harley said bringing the Metro to the borough would boost regeneration, create jobs and significantly improve mobility around the region.
He said it was especially critical for the DY5 Enterprise Zone in Brierley Hill and would help create thousands of jobs.
The council leader was speaking after the Prime Minister announced that plans for the seven-mile line had been signed off by the Government. It is part of a quarter of a billion pound funding package to improve transport links across the West Midlands.
Councillor Patrick Harley, leader of Dudley Council, said: “This is a real game changer for Dudley – the Metro is vital to the town and the borough’s economy.
“It will bring improved transport connectivity and crucially help to deliver major regeneration, housing and employment opportunities across the area including our DY5 Enterprise Zone.
“We are delighted the Government and the Prime Minister have backed our bid. It is fantastic news and we now need to kick on and make this happen as soon as possible.”
Stewart Towe, Black Country LEP Chair of the Board said: “The Black Country LEP welcomes the announcement today from Government that £250 million will be invested in improving transport in the West Midlands. In particular it is fantastic news for our DY5 Enterprise Zone at Brierley Hill as this investment will fund the new metro line connecting business and communities from the Zone through to Birmingham.
"Connectivity across the Midlands is essential for supporting and attracting businesses as well as highly skilled workers. The effectiveness of the local transport infrastructure is an important element in maintaining international competitiveness in the Black Country’s growth sectors.”
From Wednesbury, the seven-mile route will run past the Castle Hill attractions, into the heart of Dudley town centre and then on to the Waterfront, Merry Hill and into Brierley Hill town centre.
It will link Dudley and Brierley Hill to the rail network for the first time since the 1960s.
The move will not only link the borough up with the existing light rail system, but also the Birmingham hub of HS2, paving the way for links to job opportunities and investment from the south.
Work is set to start in 2019, with the line set to be open to passengers in Dudley in 2022 and Brierley Hill in 2023.
The Prime Minister made the announcement during a visit to the EEF Technology Hub in Birmingham, where she unveiled a national fund of £1.7 billion to boost transport – the Transforming Cities Fund – alongside plans to boost spending on research and development by £80bn over the next 10 years.
For more information, please contact Dudley Council Press office - email@example.com - 01384 815219.