Midland Metro: Monitoring the Impacts
HARPER R, Oscar Faber and BIRD J, Centro, UK
Line 1 of Midland Metro began commercial operation on May 31 st 1999. It is the first line of a planned Light Rail Transit (LRT) network in the West Midlands region of England. The 20.4 km line runs between Birmingham and Wolverhampton along a former rail
Line 1 of Midland Metro began commercial operation on May 31 st 1999. It is the first line of a planned Light Rail Transit (LRT) network in the West Midlands region of England. The 20.4 km line runs between Birmingham and Wolverhampton along a former railway route closed in the early 1970's. There are 21 intermediate stops and the end to end journey time is 35 minutes. A fleet of articulated trams runs at an average speed of 35 kilometres per hour and at a frequency of between 6 and 10 minutes. Each tram has a capacity of 158 passengers of whom 56 can be seated. Level boarding and spaces for two wheelchairs in each tram ensure full access for people with mobility difficulties, as well as those with pushchairs, buggies and luggage.
Midland Metro is the third new LRT system to be developed in the United Kingdom following similar systems in Manchester and Sheffield. The idea of an LRT network in the West Midlands emerged in the early 1980s and the route between Birmingham and Wolverhampton was first proposed in 1987. In 1989 Centro obtained Parliamentary Powers to build the line and in 1990 sought financial assistance to fund the scheme through an application to Central Government for grant under Section56 of the 1968 Transport Act. Once the Government had approved the scheme a consortium of three partners (ALTRAM) was appointed to design, build and operate what became known as Line 1.
Association for European Transport