West Midlands Mayor Andy Street says his new £16billion transport vison for the region includes huge investment for Solihull which will create exciting new connections for residents.
As part of his plans Mr Street, who serves as the current Mayor of the West Midlands, wants to open eight new Metro lines and 21 new rail stations across the West Midlands by 2040.
On the Metro, Andy wants to build over 150 miles of new lines and around 380 new stops, and, in addition to the trams running on roads and on rail lines, he wants to have sections of the line running underground, using ‘cut and cover’ tunnelling to allow traffic to drive above the Metro line where there is not enough space on narrower roads.
Mr Street, who grew up in Solihull, said: “The transport changes outlined for Solihull and Shirley are tremendously exciting. A new Metro line will create a new ‘Shirley central’ stop directly linked to Solihull town centre, as well as stopping at Robin Hood Island on its way to Birmingham.
“Another new Line will provide a direct Metro link between Solihull and Sheldon, opening up the east of Birmingham and the wider region. Where necessary, this line could go underground to ensure the minimum of disruption.
“Then there’s the Midland Metro line, which will reach out to Chelmsley Wood before joining the new HS2 interchange, and all the connectivity that will bring for residents.
“In recent years we have made great progress completing the Metro extension to Centenary Square on time and on budget, and bringing the plans for the new rail stations to life in South Birmingham and the Black Country.
“But now is time for the next stage of ambition. This plan will connect communities which haven’t had Metro or rail lines for decades, and restore pride in the West Midlands.”
To illustrate the ambition behind his plan, Mr Street has produced a Tube-style map showing all of the new lines, stops and services.
In Solihull, the new Lee Woods Metro line will create new stops at Robin Hood island and Shirley Central, before linking directly into Solihull town centre.
There will be a direct Metro Line between Solihull town centre and Sheldon. Where the road is narrow, lines could go underground using the ‘cut and cover’ method seen in New York.
Finally, the existing Midland Metro Line will extend to Chemlsey Wood, before reaching the HS2 interchange.