Overflow car park at Dudley Port Station to temporarily close for continued Metro works
Commuters are being asked to plan their journeys as an overflow car park at Dudley Port Railway Station is to temporarily close as construction for the Wednesbury to Brierley Hill Metro extension ramps up.
The car park, built in 2010 for the Metro scheme, is set to close on Monday 24 August and will reopen as an interchange Park and Ride car park serving both tram and train services when the Metro route opens. The main car park at Dudley Port Railway Station will remain open throughout construction for the tramway, which is now well underway across the Sandwell and Dudley areas.
The Midland Metro Alliance, which is planning and constructing the route on behalf of Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), which is part of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), requires the closure to allow access onto the site of the former South Staffordshire Railway, which makes up more than 7 kilometres of the much-anticipated Black Country light rail extension.
They have been working closely with West Midlands Trains, TfWM and both Sandwell and Dudley councils to notify those in the area and commuters who regularly use the railway station of the upcoming closure. The organisations have also been sharing tips on how to avoid disruption including planning ahead and considering more sustainable travel options such as walking, cycling or using the local bus services. Further advice and reminders about the closure will continue throughout autumn as lockdown eases and public transport services become more frequently used.
Ian Collins, Project Director at the Midland Metro Alliance, said: “The new Wednesbury to Brierley Hill Metro extension will provide a modern and alternative public transport option for the Black Country. There will, unfortunately, be some disruption whilst we build the extension and for this we apologise. We will shortly need to close the overflow car park at Dudley Port, located off Park Lane East, to access the former railway corridor whilst we transform it into the new Metro extension. Rail commuters will still be able to access Dudley Port Railway Station throughout the metro works and the station will continue to be connected by local bus services. The main railway car park, accessed off Dudley Port A461, will not be affected by planned Metro works.”
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 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.
Transport for West Midlands and the Midland Metro Alliance have provided the following travel advice:
Plan ahead and leave more time for your journeys especially if you usually use the overflow car park at Dudley Port Railway Station
The main station car park, which includes disabled and three car share bays, is less busy earlier and later in the day, however there are limited spaces so people are encouraged to travel to the station using other methods
Consider walking or cycling to the station and taking advantage of cycle storage facilities.
or using buses (22, 74, 74A) which regularly serve the station
The busiest times to travel are changing as lockdown eases. Check with operators before you travel.
Those who need to travel by car are also being advised that there are Park and Ride car parks available at Coseley, Tipton, Sandwell & Dudley Railway Stations and Bradley Lane tram stop, all of which have links into Birmingham and Wolverhampton. However, these car parks can also get busy during peak times.
Anne Shaw, Director of Network Resilience, at TfWM said: “Making sure people can travel as easy as possible continues to be one of our top priorities with construction underway for a number of exciting transport projects across the region. We are working with colleagues to help minimise disruption to commuters as the Metro development progresses and, indeed, as the region begins a return to normality following the earlier Covid-19 travel restrictions. Commuters can help too by considering their varied journey options.”