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Metro tram to return to Brum City Centre


andykeenan
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Looking good i rekon and New Sterrt station all new gonna be good

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-birmingham-17064263

128m tram extension for Birmingham has been given final approval by Local Transport Minister Norman Baker.

The Metro line will link Snow Hill railway station with Birmingham New Street railway station, from 2015.

Mr Baker said it would "bring trams back to the heart" of the city and link the shopping and business districts.

The Department for Transport (DfT) said the scheme would provide a new fleet of trams, create 1,300 jobs and generate £50m for the local economy.

Proposals for the city centre tram link have been mooted by Centro, the West Midlands transport authority, since 2005.

Trams have been absent from the city centre since 1953.

Mr Baker said: "This... 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."

The DfT will provide £75.4m towards the £128m total cost of the scheme, which is being led by Centro, in partnership with Birmingham City Council and the Black Country district councils.

The announcement means Centro has permission to buy a new fleet of trams, develop a bigger maintenance depot at Wednesbury and build the extension.

'Connected city'

Birmingham Chamber of Commerce Group chief executive Jerry Blackett, chief said: "By linking up our major railway stations within the city centre we move ever closer to creating a more integrated and well-connected city.

"It is vital for businesses that Birmingham has a good inter connecting transport system. The Metro has played a big part in the City's attempts to address this.

"With the development of New Street and a new high speed rail station located next to Moor Street the next ten years are going to be transformational for the City which will cement its position as the beating heart of the UK's transport network."

Work has already started to accommodate the tram route, with Centro starting to move bus stops in Corporation Street to make way for the trams.

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its a nice idea, but what do you hope a tram system will bring to the city. why not spend that 128m on reducing council tax, rates for shops, lowering the cost of existing public transport. If the council was run as a business you would look for a return of at least £5 - £10 for every £1 spent. Will the tram system generate this?

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£128m seems like a lot of money

i dont see what it brings to the city, more tourists / businessmen / shoppers on the basis that a 5 minute walk can now be done by tram, somebody who actually lives in brum might be able to tell me the point of it but as someone from kiddy who is used to getting off at snow hill and walking round im really struggling to see it as anything but a waste of money

when i saw £128m tram i was expecting it to see an extension of what runs between birmingham to wolverhampton to say solihull or something

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£128m seems like a lot of money

i dont see what it brings to the city, more tourists

I've been a long time gone but are there really people who'd visit Birmingham City centre under the auspices of tourism?

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of course! european capital of shopping, since the bullring opened i think there has been a huge increase

Don't want to diss my hometown as I still love the place but I've been to the bullring and can't believe someone would consider that a big enough pull to plan a holiday by. Either of the two London Westfields pee all over the bullring IMO. Still, I guess I'm not much of a shopper so what do I know :winkold:

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i dont think you'd come just to brum on holiday but you'd be amazed at how many come to the midlands, worcester always has yanks walking around, warwick castle you'd say at a guess gets its share too, plus i think selfridges is as good as any shop in the country, its a brilliant building

did anyone else see the asian school kids at VP on sunday? they were in the holte end car park, about 15 of them all with the smae cap on

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Is it literally 128 million just to go from Snow Hill to New Street?

The Edinburgh scheme was costed at £373m, but in fact will cost over £1bn, for half the length of line that was originally planned.

Some of this is down to appalling project management (eg changing the spec after work started). Some is because the work required embedding tracks in the roads, which required some excavation work, which led to pipes and cables being discovered which weren't where the drawings showed them to be, which became a green light for the utilities companies to bring forward renewal work that they would have had to do at some point, claim it was required only because of the tram works, and bill the project for it. Some is because it was conceived as a vanity project (the biggest, widest, heaviest tram in Europe, with all that implies about original design, lack of currently available rolling stock, greater road strengthening, and the extra cost which flows from that - before thinking about future maintenance costs).

The costs quoted don't reflect the costs borne by local businesses, many of which are seething with anger about the impact on trade of having road works outside their premises for several years, buses diverted, noise and dirt.

Local people are mostly on a scale from unimpressed through pissed off to potentially homicidal with anger.

Trams in themselves are a good idea. They are cleaner and greener. There is some evidence that people who won't use the bus will switch from cars to trams. There are many successful schemes across Europe. But like any capital project, a tram scheme is subject to the danger of poor management, overblown design, and quite possibly corruption.

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Snow Hill to New Street is a 10min walk. Or you can go to Moor Street instead which is 5min walk to New Street. Not sure this is necessary.

I was going to say this.

Why not invest in some nice new big signs for people to follow

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the company i work for is one of the three contractors going for it, hopefully i'll get a glimpse of how much it really costs and how much of it costs in terms of construction, for example the new £54m stourport town centre has suddenly come down to £7m worth of construction...

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Snow Hill to New Street is a 10min walk. Or you can go to Moor Street instead which is 5min walk to New Street. Not sure this is necessary.

I was going to say this.

Why not invest in some nice new big signs for people to follow

I'd like to see the tram go all the way down Broad Street, Hagley Road and terminate by the cricket ground. I think if you are going to have a tram running then it needs a more visible presence in Birmingham city centre. It does get busy, but speaking as somebody who works in the industry and as someone who has passed through Snow Hill on an almost daily basis for ten years all I see is wasted potential. If you make a service very convenient for people then they will use it (just look at how iTunes is cleaning up in a world where bit torrent exists) and those final few hundred yards from Snow Hill to New Street could make all the difference. If the tram drops people off right next to where they want to be instead of throwing EVERYBODY who wants Birmingham off in the middle of the office district and making them walk the rest of the way then the tram becomes much more useful for lots of people. This could take cars off the road and free up buses to be used on other routes. The tram extension was always going to happen, it should have happened a decade ago and if Birmingham wants to be thought of as a world class city then it should be extended further.

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Trams in themselves are a good idea. They are cleaner and greener. There is some evidence that people who won't use the bus will switch from cars to trams. There are many successful schemes across Europe. But like any capital project, a tram scheme is subject to the danger of poor management, overblown design, and quite possibly corruption.

Sounds almost exactly like just about every recent "light rail" project in the USA, including the MBTA Green Line's Medford extension, which is almost uncannily similar to the Edinburgh experience:

The 2003 PMT estimated a cost of $375 [million] for the Green Line Extension, a figure that presumed the Extension would reach West Medford (about 1,500 feet (460 m) further than the current plan) with a daily ridership of 8,420 and 3,540 of those diverted from non-transit modes. At 10% design, the Final Environmental Impact Report estimated a cost of $953.7 million (in "year of expenditure" dollars) for seven new stations and 24 new light rail vehicles.

The MBTA plans to extend the E branch from Lechmere to Union Square, and extend the D branch from Government Center to College Avenue. The contract for construction would be a Design/Build construction contract. The contract was expected to be advertised for Design/Build Ventures to bid on in Fall 2011. Construction would begin in Spring 2012 with an expected cost of $953.7 million. The project would be partially funded by the Commonwealth and the Federal Government under the New Starts Program.

In 2010, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) announced that the new service was expected to be operational in October 2015; interim air quality offset measures would need to be taken if the project misses its December 2014 deadline as expected. The Department of Transportation had previously announced that due to budget limitations, the portion from College Avenue to Route 16 would be a future second phase of the extension, not included in the current proposed project.

As of August 2011, MassDOT has announced that opening of the Extension has been postponed to Fall 2018 at the earliest. Completion of the Extension to College Avenue near Tufts University could be delayed to 2020, while the terminus at Mystic Valley Parkway remains deferred indefinitely. The stated reason for the delays is difficulties in land acquisition, plus implied concerns about cost controls and financing.

(obligatory side note: other portions of the Green Line are what give the T the distinction of being the fourth oldest Underground system in the world (after London, Glasgow, and Budapest))

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