Independent review into West Midlands tram services to be launched after suspension

Midland Metro say say services between Wolverhampton and Birmingham should resume within four weeks

<p>Permanent repairs are now required after cracks were found on the vehicles </p>

Permanent repairs are now required after cracks were found on the vehicles

An independent review is set to be launched after all tram services in the West Midlands were suspended earlier this month.

The network, which operates between Wolverhampton and Birmingham, was initially suspended in June after cracks were found on the vehicles but temporary repairs were carried out at the time, allowing the services to partially resume.

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Cracks were discovered again on November 13, with permanent repairs now required.

Midland Metro Limited is aiming to resume services within four weeks.

The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) board has now asked Transport for West Midlands to conduct a review into the WMCA’s oversight of the region’s metro services.

The decision was prompted by West Midlands Mayor Andy Street, and the review will be carried out by an industry expert, who will look into the way Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) manages the delivery of new extensions and operation of metro services through a wholly owned company.

This review will take place to ensure TfWM has the right structures in place to hold both metro delivery and operations to account.

What has West Midlands Mayor Andy Street said about the suspension of Midland Metro services?

Following the suspension, West Midlands Mayor Andy Street, who chairs the WMCA, said: “The situation with the metro is incredibly disappointing and frustrating, and so on behalf of passengers I have asked for an independent review to establish what exactly has gone wrong and what changes need to be made in how those in authority are held to account to ensure we avoid this ever happening again.

“It is such an unsatisfactory situation, but I am determined to stand up for passengers and get their questions answered and the metro back in service ASAP.”

Cllr Ian Ward, WMCA portfolio holder for transport and leader of Birmingham City Council said: “The tram is an essential and valued part of our regional transport network. However I have had serious concerns about the metro construction for some time so welcome the independent review.

“The passengers and businesses have been badly let down and we owe it to them investigate this fully.”

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