£24m transport interchange gets the green light in Dudley

Plans for a £24m transport interchange have been approved in the centre of Dudley.

The project will see the existing 1980s bus station, which is the oldest in the West Midlands, demolished to make way for a modern bus and Metro tram interchange.

The two-storey interchange will be fit with waiting areas, retail units, live travel information screens and solar panels on the roof.

The first phase of the Metro extension, between Wednesbury and Dudley town centre, is currently under construction and set to open in 2024 when it will offer frequent services to Wolverhampton and Birmingham.

This line will be further extended to Brierley Hill, including a stop at the Merry Hill Shopping Centre, during the project’s second phase.

The council will now continue work in order to secure the remaining land via a Compulsory Purchase Order process.

Transport for West Midlands will also engage with the design consultant to develop the detailed design in readiness for tendering and appointing the build contractor.

The £24m funding for the scheme is primarily funded from the region’s Transforming Cities Fund allocation from the Department for Transport.

Councillor Simon Phipps, cabinet member for regeneration an enterprise, said: “This transport interchange is a key part of more than £1billion worth of regeneration activity in Dudley and the planning committee’s decision will be welcomed by many.

“When complete, this scheme will revolutionise how people visit and commute to and from this borough and provides an excellent boost for public transport”.

Also under development is a new cross-city bus route, offering faster journey times between Birmingham and the new Dudley Interchange.

West Midlands Mayor Andy Street said: “This is another significant milestone in the development of the new Dudley Interchange and I would like to thank the planning committee for supporting this important scheme.

“It is clear from their decision that they recognise a modern, efficient and comfortable bus and tram interchange will not only be warmly welcomed by the people of Dudley but will also create a fantastic gateway for visitors to the town centre.

“Work is under way on the new Metro line and a new cross-city bus route is being established to speed up journey times to Sandwell, Birmingham and Wolverhampton.

“This is great news for Dudley and will vastly improve connectivity for local residents for many years to come. I cannot wait to see this scheme come to fruition and change lives for the better.”