The package includes £100m towards the construction of two extensions in central Birmingham. The 1.3km extension from Centenary Square in Birmingham City Centre to Five Ways and Edgbaston is due to be completed in 2021 at a cost of £68m, while the £105m 2.5km Birmingham Eastside extension to Digbeth and the planned High Speed 2 station at Curzon Street is due to open in 2023.
The funds also include £4.5m towards the £18m 0.8km northern extension to Wolverhampton Bus Station and Wolverhampton Railway Station, which is scheduled for completion in 2019.
The link between Stephenson Street (for Birmingham New Street Station) to Centenary Square was funded in previous funding rounds and is due to be completed in 2019. An extension from Snow Hill to Stephenson Street is currently under construction.
West Midlands transport authority Centro says new LRVs will be required for all of these extensions if the full funding indicated in this announcement becomes available.
"This funding is a great start but we now want to see the government provide the West Midlands with a solid, 10-year transport funding settlement," says Wolverhampton City Council leader Mr Roger Lawrence. "That is something London has enjoyed for some time now and we need the same here. It would enable us to plan and deliver new projects much more quickly and provide certainty around future transport schemes, helping to attract more inward investment."
The funds are part of a £385m package for transport improvements in the West Midlands which also includes £2.6m for the upgrading of University main line station in Birmingham and £12m for the refurbishment of Coventry station. Longbridge station will also be upgraded as part of the redevelopment of the site of the former Rover car plant.