West Midlands Metro extension to Edgbaston could be delayed until April 2022

It had been hoped the next phase of the tram extension would be open in 2021, but covid lockdowns, network closures and objections from businesses on Broad Street had contributed to the delay.

The Midland Metro tram extension to Edgbaston could be delayed until April - close to six months after it was originally due to open.

It comes as businesses on the route objected to proposed traffic plans.

Transport for West Midlands, Birmingham City Council and Midland Metro alliance say that despite the pressures of the pandemic - which delayed some construction works - they hope to open the route soon.

The network was previously suspended in November after cracks were found on some trams. The full fleet of trams are still yet to return to operation.

Phase 2 of the West Midlands Metro Westside expansion takes tram services from Birmingham Central Library to new stops along the Hagley road, ending at Edgbaston Village.

It is all part of the West Midlands Mayor Andy Street's plan to triple the size of the tram network, with £1.3bn of investment.

Phase One from Grand Central to lower Broad Street took 912 days to complete before being opened to the public in December 2019.

Broad Street businesses including Rosie's, Pryzm and Cineworld Broad Street, which have been inside the Clean Air Zone since it began operating in June, were expecting trams to start to bring customers before the busy Christmas period.

A spokesperson for Transport for West Midlands says: "Despite the pressures of the Covid pandemic and lockdowns, Transport for West Midlands, Birmingham City Council and the Midland Metro Alliance have worked closely together to complete the main construction of the Westside extension, close to the projected date.

"Traffic Regulation Orders agreed when the Metro scheme was first approved have since had to be updated and all parties are now waiting for the outcome of the legal processes surrounding these new orders. This follows objections to the revised traffic orders raised by businesses along Broad Street. 

"All partners are working together to overcome the concerns raised by businesses.

"As soon as the TRO is agreed we will commence finishing works, safety checks and training to familiarise drivers with the new route - a process which can take several weeks - so passenger services can begin. We hope this will be well in advance of the suggested April date."