West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) leaders have given the go ahead for the new £24 million Dudley Interchange.
The approval of the full business case means work can now get underway on a new high-quality bus and tram interchange, which will form a crucial part of the wider regeneration of Dudley town centre.
Built on the site of the existing bus station, it will link to the new Metro tram extension, currently under construction by the Midland Metro Alliance, between Wednesbury and Brierley Hill, with both projects due to be completed in 2023.
The seamless connectivity between bus, tram and longer term, a planned Sprint bus service, will offer people improved links to jobs and leisure opportunities throughout the West Midlands.
It will also offer visitors to Dudley town centre a comfortable and convenient alternative to the car.
Investment in public transport is also key in supporting the region’s #WM2041 ambition to become a carbon neutral region within the next 20 years.
Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), which is part of the WMCA, is leading on the Interchange project in partnership with Dudley Council, with the majority of the funding coming from the region’s Transforming Cities Fund allocation, topped up with contributions from the council and WMCA.
Commenting, Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street said: “Like other town centres, Dudley has been hit hard in recent years, which is why the WMCA is putting its cash to good use to help revitalise the borough.
“Through helping to knock down the tombstone of Cabendish House to make way for the Portersfield development, to extending the Midland Metro through the town to Brierley Hill, we are committed to doing what we can to support the council in bringing their ambitious £1bn masterplan to life.
“That’s why I am delighted we have approved even more funding for Dudley, with the new interchange set to provide a fitting gateway to what will be a revitalised and reborn town centre.”
Leader of Dudley Council, Councillor Patrick Harley added: “We are delivering a £1bn regeneration masterplan for Dudley borough and despite the restrictions caused by the pandemic, Dudley town centre is currently a hive of exciting construction work.
“I welcome the confirmation of funding for the town’s Interchange. We have continued to drive forward plans to improve access to travel for the town and this impressive facility will help people to connect their bus, Metro and rail journeys.
“Our plans for Dudley town centre will revolutionise the education offer in our borough and create exciting new jobs and opportunities for local people, and transport will be a key component in making our vision a reality.”