Centro unveils plans to extend the Metro to Centenary Square

PROPOSALS to extend the Midland Metro tram system from Birmingham’s New Street station towards Five Ways have taken a step forward.

Transport bosses are inviting the business community and the public to give their views on £31m plans to extend the Midland Metro in Birmingham city centre – even before the current extension from Snow Hill station to New Street station is complete.

Proposals from transport authority Centro would see the tram system travel through Paradise Circus and up to Centenary Square.

Work is currently underway to extend the system to connect New Street and Snow Hill railway stations to the Jewellery Quarter and the Black Country by 2015.

The new proposals, drawn up in partnership with Birmingham City Council, would build on the work taking place to provide further connections to key venues like the ICC, Symphony Hall and Birmingham Museum and Art Galleries.

Trams would run from the new stop on Stephenson Street outside New Street Station and travel along Pinfold Street, Victoria Square, Paradise Street and Broad Street before terminating at Centenary Square.

New stops would be created at the Town Hall and Centenary Square.

A public consultation on the proposed extension, including three exhibitions in Victoria Square, is being staged between now and the end of September.

Cllr Roger Horton, Centro’s lead member for rail, said: “Work is already underway to connect the Midland Metro to both New Street and Snow Hill stations and we want to build on that and further improve the network in Birmingham city centre.Centro Midland Metro

“These plans would play a significant role in supporting some of the major redevelopment work taking place in the city which will bring about an extra £2bn for the economy and create up to 40,000 jobs.”

Centro has already received approval to integrate the system with the Paradise Circus redevelopment but is proposing to slightly amend the route to eliminate the need to build a bridge over the Suffolk Street Queensway tunnels.

Centro aims to submit before the end of this year an application to the Government for a supplementary Transport and Works Act Order which would grant the legal powers needed to build and operate the extension.

If granted, work could start could start in 2015 and be open for public use in 2017.
Metro chief executive Geoff Inskip told TheBusinessDesk.com in May that the Midland Metro extension from Snow Hill to New Street is only the start as far as he is concerned.

“Businesses tell us they want it to go up to Five Ways,” he said.

“We are getting commitment for that support from Stephenson Street right through to Centenary Square.

“We are working on the basis that once Stephenson Street to Centenary Square is up and running we can just keep it going .”