The development of a new £24 million Dudley transport interchange has taken another step forward with the submission of a final planning application.
Set to be built on the current bus station site, the new Dudley Interchange will link bus services to the tram services on the Black Country Metro extension currently under construction.
As a high-quality gateway for visitors, it will support the regeneration Dudley town centre, as well as offer residents easy public transport access to leisure and work opportunities across the wider West Midlands.
The interchange, which will include comfortable waiting areas, real time travel information, space for a retail unit and cycle parking, is being developed by Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), part of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA).
The two-storey building will also feature a distinctive curved roof with solar panels on top to reduce the running costs of the building, together with space for a ‘living green’ roof covering to absorb carbon emissions and, along with the investment in public transport services, support the region’s #WM2041 net-zero carbon ambition. As well as developing the Interchange, Metro extension and a new cross-city bus priority route serving Dudley, the WMCA is also supporting multi-million pound investments in the town centre including the Portersfield mixed-used development, the Institute of Technology and the Very Light Rail Innovation Centre.
Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands and chair of the WMCA, said:
“Recently we saw the first Metro track laid in Dudley town centre and now we are making progress on developing a purpose built transport interchange for the new trams to arrive into.
“We are putting Dudley’s historic lack of connectivity and investment well and truly behind us now, with residents able to look forward to a revamped town centre with first-class public transport.”
Cllr Patrick Harley, leader of Dudley Council, said:
“Progress continues at pace in our £1 billion regeneration of Dudley town centre and I am pleased the interchange is now at full planning stage.
“If plans are approved, the interchange promises to give a huge boost to a tired but albeit busy part of the town and make sure it is central to our regeneration plans.
“It will be our renewed transport hub bringing together both bus and Metro services and creating that all important link to the national rail system.”
Outline planning permission was granted by Dudley Council in 2019 and that is now being followed up with this detailed planning application.
This is due to be followed by the appointment of a contractor later this Spring to carry out the construction. The existing bus station was built in 1986 and is the oldest in the West Midlands. With 420,000 bus departures per year pre-pandemic it is also one of the busiest.
The WMCA Board, working with partners including Dudley Council, last year approved a £24m funding package toward the interchange scheme.
Image caption: Design of the new Dudley Interchange (image courtesy of the West Midlands Combined Authority)