Tram services to return to Birmingham as extension line to open

A full tram service will resume in Birmingham as an extension line to Edgbaston will open on Sunday.

West Midlands Metro confirmed the older trams have been undergoing an extensive repair programme as a result of cracks found in the bodypanels.

Tram services were suspended in March after more 'cracks' were found on the line.

Now, enough vehicles have been repaired to allow passenger services to resume on the line through Birmingham city centre and the new Westside extension.

Phase two of the Birmingham Westside Metro extension takes the line along Broad Street to Hagley Road.

It adds three stops along the way at Brindleyplace, Five Ways and the end of the line at Edgbaston Village.

Trams will also be calling at all stops in Birmingham city centre including Grand Central, restoring the convenient link to regional and national rail services, and Library.The extension has opened in time for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games - which will kick on July 28.

Services will run every 12 to 15 minutes, with peak time frequency to increase as more trams become available for service following repair.

West Midlands Mayor Andy Street said we've now reached a turning point and a comprehensive service is returning.

He said: “Not only are tram services to Library being restored this weekend but we are also unveiling three more stops on and beyond Broad Street – which along with Brindleyplace sits at the very heart of one of our region’s most vibrant business and hospitality districts attracting locals and visitors alike.

“This news could not have come at a better time as our hotels and venues prepare to offer a warm Brummie welcome to the thousands of people coming to town for the Commonwealth Games this summer."

A tram test on Broad Street Credit: West Midlands Metro

Birmingham City Council leader, Councillor Ian Ward said: “After the disruption to the services over the last year is fantastic to see trams once again on the city centre streets delivering passengers to our shops, entertainment venues, visitor attractions and workplaces again – just in time for Birmingham 2022. 

“This new extension opens up more our city centre to fast and clean tram services which can help further reduce car use and improve our air quality. It is a crucial part of our plans to decarbonise transport in the West Midlands through investment in cleaner bus, rail and road transport as well as offering more opportunities for walking and cycling.”