Midland Metro celebrates 10th anniversary
The Midland Metro will celebrate its tenth anniversary on Sunday 31 May by uniting the Mayors of Birmingham, Sandwell, Dudley, Wolverhampton and Walsall together for a special mayoral tram ride.
Tram number 10 will be reserved for the Mayors as they are collected from tram stops throughout the region to mark ten years since the first passenger journey on the Midland Metro. The tram will be driven by one of the longest serving tram drivers in the original purple and grey uniform of the Metro.
National Express, who operate the Midland Metro under franchise, and transport authority Centro have worked together to organise the 10th anniversary event. They are inviting fans of the Metro to watch the Mayors board along the route and join in the celebrations at Wolverhampton St George tram stop. The Mayors will give a speech about the 10 years of the tram line and cut a giant Metro cake created especially for the occasion by catering students at Wolverhampton College.
Each of the five Mayors will also be presented with an original presentation pack from the official Royal opening of the Metro by Princess Anne in 1999.
Timetable for the Mayoral tram:
10:00 am: Deputy Lord Mayor of Birmingham – Cllr Chauhdry Abdul Rashid JP - and consort to board the tram
10:11am: Tram arrives at West Bromwich tram stop where Mayor of Sandwell - Cllr Geoff Lewis - and Mayor of Dudley - Cllr Patricia Martin - plus consorts will board.
10:23am: Tram arrives at Bradley Lane tram Stop to collect Mayor of Walsall – Cllr John O'Hare - and consort.
10:35am: Tram arrives at Wolverhampton St Georges where the Mayors are officially welcomed to the city by Mayor of Wolverhampton - Cllr Surjan Singh Duhra - plus consort.
Neil Barker, Director Bus and Coach for National Express, said:
“Over the past ten years the Midland Metro has become an integral part of the transport network in the Midlands, helping to regenerate areas along the line and connecting people with their friends, family and places of work or interest every day. We’re delighted the Mayors of Wolverhampton, Sandwell, Dudley, Walsall and the Deputy Lord Mayor of Birmingham could come together to help us celebrate this important occasion.”
When it opened in the summer of 1999 the Midland Metro was the first street tramway to run in the West Midland for over forty years. It now carries over five million passengers annually across 23 tram stops linking Wolverhampton, West Bromwich, Wednesbury and Birmingham and is one of the most reliable rail based transport systems in the UK.
Geoff Inskip, Chief Executive of Centro said:
“We are delighted to be celebrating ten years of Midland Metro with Travel Midland Metro and our local authority partners. The Metro provides a very important public transport link for both people living in and visiting the West Midlands by offering fast, reliable and easy to use transport which connects people to places. It really has transformed travel between Birmingham, West Bromwich and Wolverhampton.
"Looking to our future and the next ten years we have firm plans to build on the success of the existing line by extending the tram system right into the heart of our communities in our quest towards providing the region with a truly integrated, modern and attractive world class public transport system.”
Notes to editors:
The special tram will be heading back to Birmingham from Wolverhampton at 11:30am. Media are welcome to ride the tram back and alight at either West Bromwich Central or Birmingham Snow Hill.