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  • Writer's pictureRegenerating Dudley

Final bridge for first phase of Metro extension to be installed in Black Country next month – with iconic colour scheme

Local leaders have celebrated the upcoming installation of the final purpose-built structure required for phase one of the Wednesbury to Brierley Hill Metro extension as a first look at the iconic paint job the bridge will receive is revealed.


A short section of the Birmingham New Road was closed briefly in December 2023 to allow for the aged “Hanson’s Ale” bridge to be removed in preparation for a brand-new structure to be installed which meets the needs of a modern tramway.  The bridge also allows for the provision of a cycleway between Birmingham and Wolverhampton below.

The replacement structure will be installed in the same location across three consecutive weekends beginning on 7 June. A signwriter is currently busy ensuring that this new structure will arrive on site in an iconic colour palette and design which is a nod to its “Hanson’s Ale” predecessor.

Richard Parker, Mayor of the West Midlands, said:

“It’s very special that the Metro team have ensured that a much-loved local landmark is returning with a modern purpose-built structure but retaining all of its previous charm. It is important to me that with our works, in collaboration with our partners and the local community, we always look for opportunities to honour the region’s cultural history while delivering new modern infrastructure to better connect our communities.” 

Councillor Patrick Harley, Leader of Dudley Council, added:

"The Metro will boost the Black Country’s sustainable public transport options, and with the last bridge for the first phase of this game-changing route being almost ready to be installed, it won’t be long until residents and visitors in our region will be able to benefit from the extended Metro system.”

As the new Hanson’s Ale bridge is installed across Birmingham New Road in June 2024, there will be a number of essential and localised traffic management changes:


o   From 10pm on Friday 7 June to 5am Monday 10 June: Both north and southbound traffic lanes will close either side of the bridge while the new structure is lowered into place.

o   Between the same times on Friday 14 June to Monday 17 June: Both north and southbound traffic lanes close to the structure will again temporarily close as work continues.

o   And finally, between 10pm on Friday 21 June to 5am on Monday 24 June: A further weekend of activity is scheduled which is set to fully-close one side of the highway only. Traffic will flow in southernly direction using one lane only.


Those travelling in the area across all three weekends will be able to complete their journeys via a short and clearly signed diversion route.


Tom Maplethorpe, Project Director at the Midland Metro Alliance, which is planning and building the route on behalf of behalf of Transport for West Midlands, recognised the milestone of installing this structure. Tom explains:

“Since May 2021, we at MMA along with our partners have been busy installing a number of purpose-built structures for the first phase of the Wednesbury to Brierley Hill Metro extension. It’s really exciting that the final bridge is almost in place and that we have been able to ensure its heritage is maintained. I would like to thank all involved, who have helped us safely get to this point, whilst continuing to minimise disruption for stakeholders wherever possible.”


The Wednesbury to Brierley Hill Metro extension will boost public transport across both Sandwell and Dudley, 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. When the first phase of the route opens to the public an additional nine stops will be added to the West Midlands Metro network linking people in place including Tipton and Dudley town centre to both Birmingham and Wolverhampton.


Notes to Editors:

1.      Photo one: A signwriter is currently putting the finishing touches to the new structure’s iconic paintjob.

2.      The West Midlands Metro runs between Birmingham and Wolverhampton, serving locations including, Edgbaston Village, Victoria Square, the Jewellery Quarter, West Bromwich, Wednesbury and Bilston.

3.      The Midland Metro Alliance consists of the WMCA, which owns the West Midlands Metro; a consortium of design experts from Egis, Tony Gee and Pell Frischmann; and rail construction specialists Colas Rail – supported by Colas’ sub-alliance partners Colas Ltd, Barhale, Bouygues UK and Auctus Management Group.

4.      For further information about the Metro extension, please visit or contact MMA Communications Manager, Cadisha Brown, by emailing: 



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