Dudley residents and businesses advised to plan ahead as first Metro works to begin
Castle Hill in Dudley will see a two-way lane restriction from 24 February 2020 as enabling works for the Wednesbury to Brierley Hill Metro extension get underway in Dudley town centre.
From Monday 24 February, during weekdays, contractors working on behalf of Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), will begin phased works for up to five weeks to remove the central reservation so traffic will still be able to travel in both directions on Castle Hill when further works to upgrade and divert existing utilities begin on the busy thoroughfare shortly after.
Those living, working or visiting Dudley town centre are being asked to leave more time for their journeys whilst bus passengers are advised that bus lanes on Castle Hill will be suspended for the duration of the work and that they should check the West Midlands Network website before they travel.
Dudley Council will shortly be writing to residents, businesses, schools and colleges across the town to provide details of this, and other works, along with tips on how they can avoid disruption by using travel planning information.
Councillor Patrick Harley, Leader of Dudley Council, said: “There is little doubt for those living, working or visiting Dudley that the Metro route will make a massive difference to the town. It will help deliver new homes, jobs and so much more for the borough, making it even easier to visit our great tourist attractions. The construction which is about to get underway on this and other regeneration projects across the borough, however, will cause unavoidable disruption which is why I’ve written to homes and businesses in the surrounding area with further details of our Regenerating Dudley programme and to remind all that our fantastic attractions remain open as usual throughout the works.”
Councillor Jackie Taylor, Sandwell Council’s cabinet member for sustainable transport, said: “We are very excited that works are about start on the new Metro extension from Wednesbury to Brierley Hill. This extension will bring much-needed investment and regeneration to Sandwell and the surrounding areas and make it easier for people to travel around the region using a sustainable mode of transport. There will be some unavoidable disruption now and as so many of us travel across boroughs, we urge our residents and business owners 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. Passenger services are expected to commence in 2023.
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 the Castle Hill works, car drivers will be able to complete their journeys without diversion. Transport for West Midlands, Dudley 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 Castle Hill or Castlegate island, 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 Consider using public transport or car sharing wherever possible to help reduce congestion on key roads in and out of the town centre Travel off-peak: The busiest time to travel during weekdays is usually before 09.30 and after 15.30 If you work, speak to your employer about whether there is any flexibility in your hours or the ability to work from home.
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. If you drive please consider leaving the car at home to reduce congestion in the town centre while this essential work takes place. We have been working closely with Dudley Council and the Midland Metro Alliance to help minimise disruption to the travelling public and keep Dudley moving as the Metro development progresses.”
Local people can find out more about these Metro works and others at two public engagement events which are being held across Dudley later in the month:
Saturday 22 February
9:30am – 3pm
TfWM Exhibition Bus, Dudley Town Centre Markets
Saturday 29 February
10am – 3pm
ASDA, Pearson Street, Brierley Hill
The details of further events planned in Sandwell and Dudley in March can be found by visiting by visiting https://metroalliance.co.uk/wednesbury-to-brierley-hill-events/.