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Midlands Metro extension gets green light

Construction of a £128M extension to the Midland Metro from Snow Hill Station through to New Street Station in the city’s centre has been given the go-ahead.

As part of the project a new fleet of trams will be delivered for the route. These are due to come into service on the existing line by February 2014 but full fleet and the city centre extension won’t come into service until March 2015. The enlarged maintenance depot planned is due to come on-line this August.

The scheme’s go-ahead, announced by transport minister Norman Baker, will create 1,300 extra jobs and help cut carbon emissions and boost the local economy.

The Department for Transport will provide £75.4M towards the project, which is being led by Centro - the region’s transport authority, in partnership with Birmingham City Council and the Black Country district authorities.

“This scheme will bring trams back to the heart of Birmingham, which is great news for both the city itself and the wider West Midlands. It will provide a new, sustainable transport choice for those wishing to reach the city centre’s bustling shopping streets and the emerging business district in Snow Hill,” said Baker.

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