Passenger tram services on the new West Midlands Metro extension in Wolverhampton City Centre are set to begin from this Sunday, 17 September.
The £50 million extension creates two new tram stops at Pipers Row and Wolverhampton Railway Station, offering seamless connections to bus and train services helping to create a major public transport hub for the city.
It means passenger services will be restored to the city centre following the completion of driver familiarisation – the final stage in testing and preparing the new extension.
The development has been led by Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), part of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), working with construction and design partner Midland Metro Alliance, operator Midland Metro Ltd and the City of Wolverhampton Council.
Laura Shoaf, chief executive of the WMCA, which owns the West Midlands Metro, said: “It has been a complex construction process, working in a busy city centre, and we know it has been a frustrating time for local people and businesses. But it is fantastic now to see the extension ready to open and welcome passengers on board.
“As a result, Wolverhampton is now a better-connected city with the transport interchange it deserves, supporting local businesses while opening up new job and leisure opportunities for residents. It also makes it easier than ever to choose public transport – helping us to reduce congestion and tackle the climate emergency.
“The good news is that we are not stopping in Wolverhampton. Work on further extensions into Sandwell and Dudley and the Eastside of Birmingham city centre are well underway – investment in convenient, comfortable, and sustainable tram network that will benefit the region for years to come.”
City of Wolverhampton Council director of resident services, John Roseblade, added: “It’s great to know that from Sunday passengers will be able to use the new route developed by Midland Metro Alliance.
“Extending the Metro to the very front door of our new railway station is part of ensuring our award-winning Interchange project delivers the very best gateway to our city for all modes of transport. It is all part of how we are reimagining our city centre and better connecting passengers to events and venues like the newly-opened The Halls Wolverhampton, Grand Theatre and art gallery.”
Sophie Allison, interim managing director of West Midlands Metro, added: “With two new stops and services every 10 minutes to and from the station, this latest extension to our tram network is set to deliver a wealth of benefits for both new and existing customers.
“Visitors from outside the area by bus or train can simply hop on a tram for onward travel to some of the region’s top cultural and sports venues, while local communities will benefit from an even better-connected transport network. We can’t wait to welcome them aboard our trams.”
Services are expected to return to the current St Georges terminus later this autumn after the team from the Midland Metro Alliance completes systems integration activities and street scene improvements there over the coming weeks. Once opened, services will alternate between St Georges, which serves the shopping district, and Wolverhampton Railway Station. This means trams will run in and out of Wolverhampton every seven to eight minutes throughout the day.
Full timetable and ticket details are available on the West Midlands Metro website.