Plans for a £700 million eastward extension of the Midland Metro from Birmingham city centre towards Solihull have been delayed.
Work had been due to commence in 2024 on the 17km (10.5-mile) line, which would have linked areas including Bordesley Green with the new HS2 station at Curzon Street in one direction and the NEC, Birmingham Airport and HS2 Interchange station in the other.
A business case was submitted to government in 2018, to release the funding required to take the project into its next stages of route design, public consultation and a Transport & Works Act Order application.
But a meeting of Solihull Council on February 8 heard from Cabinet Member for Infrastructure Ken Hawkins how the extension was “now likely to be more of a long-term project”, with alternative and possibly less expensive options to improve connectivity now likely to be considered instead.
A Transport for West Midlands spokesman confirmed the delay and said that funding continued to be sought to further develop the business case and detailed plans.
He pointed to a £1.3 billion investment package that is awaiting final approval from government (RAIL 949), and which includes “funding towards detailed development and planning of improved transport services along a corridor through east Birmingham and north Solihull”.
To read the full story, see RAIL 951.