The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) has given the green light for the new £24m Dudley Interchange.
Having approved the full business case, the WMCA said work can now get underway on the new ‘high-quality’ bus and tram interchange, which it said will form a crucial part of the wider regeneration of Dudley town centre.
The interchange will be built on the site of the existing bus station and link to the new Metro tram extension currently under construction by the Midland Metro Alliance between Wednesbury and Brierley Hill. Both projects are due to be completed in 2023.
Dudley council leader Patrick Harley said: ‘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.
'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.’
WMCA released new images of the project, which it said show that passengers can expect comfortable waiting areas, the latest real time travel information, cycle parking facilities and a selection of retail units.
It said 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 and offer visitors to Dudley town centre a comfortable and convenient alternative to the car.
Transport for West Midlands, part of combined authority, is leading on the Interchange project in partnership with Dudley Council.
The majority of the funding is coming from the region’s Transforming Cities Fund allocation, topped up with contributions from the council and WMCA.