Bridge demolition marks another step forward for Metro extension

Work to extend the West Midlands Metro from Wednesbury to Brierley Hill has taken a further step forward following the demolition of another bridge.

The Tame Valley canal bridge is the fourth in a series of redundant structures to have been removed along the 11km line in recent months and follows the demolition of a similar installation on the Walsall Canal late last year.

The Old Main Line Canal bridge in Tipton will be the last of the canal structures to be cleared as part of the scheme with work expected to get underway in February.

The canal, which has been closed to boat and towpath traffic to allow the works to take place, is expected to reopen in the coming weeks.

Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “It is brilliant to see that despite the pandemic we are able to press ahead with the construction of the Wednesbury to Brierley Hill Metro extension. Not only is the extension the biggest light rail project in the UK, but it is also a creator of local jobs and driver of our regional economy at such a challenging time.

“The Wednesbury to Brierley Hill Metro extension will be a huge connectivity boost for the people of Dudley and Sandwell, and it also forms a key part of my wider plans for public transport across the West Midlands after decades of under investment. I am delighted we have reached another milestone on the extension and want to say a huge thank you to all the staff who have helped make this happen despite the pandemic.”

Councillor Jackie Taylor, Sandwell Council’s cabinet member for sustainable transport, added: “I am happy to see work is progressing well on the project. This extension will bring much-needed investment and regeneration to Sandwell and will make it easier for people to travel across the region using a sustainable mode of transport. As work takes place on the bridge, to combat any inconvenience, please plan your travel and consider walking or cycling if you are able to do so.”