Metro extension works set to begin in Sandwell

A lane restriction on Sedgley Road East in Tipton will go live from 22 June 2020 as an access road is built ahead of wider works in the area scheduled for the summer as part of the Wednesbury to Brierley Hill Metro extension in Sandwell.

Those traveling through Park Lane West and Sedgley Road East in coming weeks and during the summer are being asked to leave more time for their journeys and to follow clearly signed diversion routes. Public transport users are also being advised that bus services in the area may run on amended routes when works take place and they should check the West Midlands Network website before they travel.

From Monday 22 June, vehicular traffic will flow on a short portion of Sedgley Road East, between Mayfair Gardens and Sacred Heart School, under three-way traffic signals as work to build the access road gets underway. It is expected that this traffic measure will be in place for up to four weeks.

An artist’s impression of West Midlands Metro services travelling along the new route through Tipton
An artist’s impression of West Midlands Metro services travelling along the new route through Tipton

Then later in the summer, the same part of Sedgley Road will completely close to vehicular and pedestrian traffic, as the Midland Metro Alliance, working on behalf of Transport for West Midlands, will begin the first structure upgrade along the 11km route with the temporary removal of the railway bridge crossing the A-Road. The closure is expected to last for up to four weeks and later in the construction of the much-anticipated Metro route a replacement bridge will be erected.

The Midland Metro Alliance is working closely with Sandwell Council and Transport for West Midlands to notify residents, businesses and organisations directly impacted by both the lane restriction and localised closure sharing tips on how they can avoid disruption by using travel planning information.

Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “The Wednesbury to Brierley Hill Metro extension is a brilliant scheme for the Black Country, and I am determined we press ahead to help provide some economic certainty in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic. I know the teams involved in the project have been busy throughout the crisis with design work and utility works in Dudley, so it’s great that those living in Sandwell can see this project getting underway in their area too. We, of course, apologise for any inconvenience that the work is going to cause, but this scheme is a critical part of our wider transport plans for the region and will make a real difference to residents.”

Councillor Jackie Taylor, Sandwell Council’s cabinet member for sustainable transport, said: “We are very excited that these works will mark the start of construction on the new Metro extension from Wednesbury to Brierley Hill. This extension will bring much-needed investment and regeneration to Sandwell. The route will support those in Tipton and surrounding areas making it easier for people to travel around the region using a sustainable mode of transport. There will be some unavoidable disruption now and we urge those we are getting in contact with to heed travel advice from our colleagues.”

The Wednesbury to Brierley Hill Metro extension will boost public transport in the Black Country, providing much-needed links to the existing heavy and light rail networks, and helping to connect people to education, training and career opportunities further afield in the West Midlands.

The extension will also play its part in helping to regenerate the Sandwell, Dudley and Brierley Hill areas, making it more attractive to investors and providing easy access to the intu Merry Hill shopping centre and the region’s many and varied attractions via public transport. Once up and running there will be up to 17 new stops and the new system will also reduce journey times when compared to travelling by car.

During both elements of the planned works, people will be able to complete their journeys following a short and clearly signed diversion route. Transport for West Midlands, Sandwell Council and the Midland Metro Alliance have teamed up to provide the following travel advice:

  • Plan ahead and leave more time for your journeys especially if you travel along Sedgley Road East, Park Lane West, Mayfair Gardens or Victoria Road, you’ll need more time for your journey to take account of the lane restrictions that will be in place. Follow the @wmroads Twitter feed for real time traffic updates

  • The busiest times to travel are changing as lockdown eases. Check with operators before you travel.

Anne Shaw, Director of Network Resilience, at TfWM said: “One of our key priorities is making sure travel is as easy as possible whilst construction takes place. We have been working closely with Sandwell Council and the Midland Metro Alliance to help minimise disruption to the travelling public and keep Tipton moving as the Metro development progresses and the region begins a return to normality following the earlier Covid-19 travel restrictions.”