Five Ways underpass will close to all traffic from Monday 3 June as works by the Midland Metro Alliance to bring West Midlands Metro services to Edgbaston gather pace. The underpass will remain closed for the duration of construction until 2021 when, later that year, services commence to the new Metro terminus at 54 Hagley Road as part of the second phase of the Birmingham Westside Metro extension. Shortly after the closure of the underpass, vehicular traffic will be restricted along sections of Broad Street as construction in the city’s vibrant entertainment centre also gets underway.
During construction, Five Ways roundabout, which runs above the underpass, will remain open in all directions to allow access in and out of Birmingham city centre. Roads and public transport will be busier than normal while these essential works take place and the advice is to plan ahead, leave more time for journeys and consider switching to public transport.
Councillor Waseem Zaffar, Birmingham City Council Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment, said: “The expansion of the Metro and early Sprint works along the Hagley Road corridor will make it easier for those living, working and travelling in Birmingham to get around. Whilst works across the city are ongoing, it is important for people to plan ahead, consider using public transport or changing their journeys wherever possible.”
The Birmingham Westside Metro extension follows the Metro extension from St. Chads to Grand Central, which opened for passenger service in May 2016. Once completed, the Metro will operate between Grand Central and Hagley Road in Edgbaston, improving transport links in the heart of Birmingham, making journeys faster and more accessible, in turn helping businesses and supporting more jobs.
Five new tram stops will connect passengers to Victoria Square, Centenary Square, Brindleyplace, Five Ways and Hagley Road, with links to popular attractions including the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, the International Convention Centre and Symphony Hall, allowing more people to use the Metro in this area for day-to-day travel, reducing road congestion in the city centre, as well as improving sustainable transport options along Broad Street and beyond.
Phil Hewitt, Director of West Midlands Metro, said: “When this route is open to passengers, thousands of people from Birmingham and the Black Country will have better access to the entertainment, hospitality and job opportunities offered in Brindleyplace and Broad Street. It will also help to reduce congestion along Hagley Road, providing commuters easier access into the city centre and beyond. We made a commitment last year to better coordinate road works and infrastructure projects with our partners, so as the Metro is extended people will also notice other work taking place, such as early investigations for Sprint.”
The first phase of the works, to open for passenger service in late 2019, will see West Midlands Metro services extend from Grand Central to Centenary Square. The second phase of the route, anticipated to open for passenger service in 2021 will continue to Edgbaston.
Paul Brown, Construction Director of Midland Metro Alliance, said: “Shortly, we are to install complementary highway measures around Gas and Berkley Street, in the westside of the city, which are designed to make it easier for those who have to access Broad Street to get around during the works. We are working closely with Birmingham City Council, local Business Improvement Districts, Transport for West Midlands and public transport operators to minimise impact. As with our other projects, we aim to ensure the local economy benefits by sourcing goods and labour, wherever possible, from the local supply chain.”
The Midland Metro Alliance will shortly be writing to residents, businesses and educational institutions in the city centre to provide details of the closure, including links to travel planning information. The team will also continue to work throughout the spring with Transport for West Midlands and Birmingham City Council on a number of engagement events to promote public transport, to encourage people to travel off-peak where possible and use real-time information to plan their journeys.
For any further information about the work, please visit: www.metroalliance.co.uk. For information on public transport in the West Midlands visit https://www.networkwestmidlands.com/plan-your-journey/major-roadworks-and-events/five-ways-underpass-closure/ww.networkwestmidlands.com/fiveways.