The 11km Wednesbury to Brierley Hill route is being planned, designed and delivered by the Midland Metro Alliance, on behalf of Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), which is part of the WMCA. It will link Dudley with Birmingham, Wolverhampton and the national rail network.
The extension will branch off the current West Midlands Metro line just east of the Wednesbury Great Western Street Metro stop, before heading through Tipton and Dudley on its way to Brierley Hill.
Cost of the scheme has escalated from £200m two years ago but work is still expected to start later this year on the scheme.
The Midland Metro Alliance consists of the West Midlands Combined Authority; a consortium of design experts from Egis, Tony Gee and Pell Frischmann; and rail construction specialists Colas Rail – with Colas’ sub-alliance partners Colas Ltd, Barhale, Bouygues UK and Auctus Management Group.
West Midlands mayor Andy Street said: “We’re investing billions in public transport networks to bring the communities of the West Midlands closer together.
“The Wednesbury to Brierley Hill line will be a true game-changer, bringing huge benefits to this part of the Black Country and acting as a catalyst for new housing, jobs and leisure opportunities.
“It will allow people to reach new employment sites – such as Castle Hill, the DY5 Enterprise Zone and Merry Hill, and forecasts predict it could lead to an almost 30% increase in permanent jobs in this part of the Black Country. That’s good news for everyone.
Councillor Qadar Zada, leader of Dudley Council, said: “It’s taken a long time to get to this point, but the funding makes this scheme a reality and I am very much looking forward to seeing work start in Dudley as soon as possible.”
TfWM has started a feasibility study to investigate what mode of transport will best link Brierley Hill to Stourbridge – whether that be rail, light rail, Metro or bus – to further improve connectivity in the borough.