Photo of Professor Ross Cranston

Professor Ross Cranston (Dudley North, Labour)

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the likely (a) start and (b) completion date for construction of the extension of the Midland Metro light rapid transit system from Wednesbury to Brierley Hill; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Ms Charlotte Atkins

Ms Charlotte Atkins (Assistant Whip (funded by HM Treasury), Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Transport; Staffordshire Moorlands, Labour)

No assessment has been made. I understand from the West Midlands Passenger Transport Executive, Centro, who are the promoters of the scheme, that they expect the construction to start mid 2007 and to be completed in 2010. This is, however, subject to powers for the extension being confirmed by Parliament and to our consideration of a final business case, which is expected to be submitted in the spring. Although the Department announced on 20 December 2004 that the Secretary of State had decided to make an Order under the Transport and Works Act giving powers for the scheme, the Order will need to be subject to special parliamentary procedure before it can come into force, as it involves the compulsory purchase of open space without other land being offered in exchange. It is expected that the Order will be laid before Parliament later this month.


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