This morning it was announced that the Midland Metro tram route through Digbeth will go down the High Street. The new tram will serve Digbeth High Street, the coach station and The Custard Factory.
Centro and Birmingham City Council decided to opt for the High Street route over the previously-favoured Fazeley Street route following a public consultation where almost 75% of people voted for the High Street. Digbeth Residents Association has been instrumental in the inclusion of the High Street route option, and its supporters made a huge impact on the final decision.
The tram route will start at the new HS2 station, and run along New Canal Street and Meriden Street before turning left on to High Street Deritend. It will then travel along the centre of the carriageway, replacing the existing footpath. There will be a stop close to the junction of Milk Street to serve Digbeth Coach Station and the Custard Factory; the tram will then continue along the High Street before turning left into Adderley Street where a terminus is proposed.
Chair of Digbeth Residents Association, John Gordon, said: “We are delighted with the decision for the Midland Metro to serve Digbeth High Street. This will create a connected transport system which integrates the coach station to the rail network via a tram, all within Digbeth. This triumph of common sense coupled with the voice of our supporters will meet the needs of Birmingham residents and property developers, rather than just the latter, creating an inclusive service to where people live now and where more will live in the future.
“The tram will serve the local businesses, providing a stimulus for much-needed economic growth in the area, maximising the benefit of the investment in HS2. £132 million will be ploughed into Digbeth, supporting long-overdue works to improve the public realm along the High Street. The Metro will also support the night time economy, defining our neighbourhood as a vibrant young linear urban community.
“One of the aims of Digbeth Residents Association is to promote Digbeth as a destination within Birmingham, as opposed to an area to pass through as quickly as possible. In future we would love to see full pedestrianisation of the High Street to create a boulevard akin to Las Ramblas, and the tram extended to serve the Birmingham City Football ground.”