UK: The latest extension of the Midland Metro opened at 08.00 on May 30, when trams started running to New Street station in Birmingham. Test running had started on April 24.

Built by Balfour Beatty, the two-stop extension from Bull Street forms the second phase of the 1·4 km city centre extension. The first phase, from Snow Hill to Bull Street, opened on December 6.

‘Since we started running to Bull Street, we’ve seen 23% more passengers on the trams’, said Peter Coates, Managing Director of operator National Express West Midlands. ‘Now the extension is open we look forward to passenger numbers continuing to grow.’

The extension forms part of a £128m programme that also included the purchase of 21 CAF Urbos trams, refurbishment and expansion of the depot, and a new stop at Snow Hill.

A further extension would take the line from New Street to Centenary Square in 2019. Further extensions at both ends of the line are planned.