West Midlands Metro: Birmingham tram extension finally up and running

ITV News Central's Andy Bevan reports on the opening of West Midlands Metro's new Westside extension

West Midlands Metro's new Westside extension has gone into service, opening just in time for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

At 7.48am on Sunday (17 July), the first passenger-carrying tram arrived on Broad Street after years of construction and months of delays.

The Westside Metro extension takes the line along Broad Street to Hagley Road, adding 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 West Midlands Metro has had problems for several years, including the recent withdrawal of the entire fleet of trams for several months after cracks appeared in the body work.

Repairs, paid for by their Spanish manufacturer, are now complete enough for a full service to resume.

Andy Street, mayor of the West Midlands and WMCA chair, said: “After an unfortunately interrupted customer experience this year for Metro passengers, I’m so pleased for local residents and businesses that we’ve now reached a turning point and a comprehensive service is returning.“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."

Work is also underway for the Eastside extension from Birmingham city centre to the socially vibrant area of Digbeth.