Paradise Circus closes for Metro tram extension for a year

Image source, Birmingham City Council
Image caption,
The Broad Street area "remains open for business", the city council said

People have been warned to expect delays and congestion as a main route in Birmingham closes for about a year.

Paradise Circus will be shut in both directions until next summer while the Midland Metro tramline is extended.

The city council said the Midland Metro extension to Broad Street and Centenary Square was set to open in late 2019.

The project is one of several major works in Birmingham, some of which have attracted the ongoing anger of commuters.

These include work needed ahead of HS2, including a new Curzon Street Station, and schemes to create cycle routes on the A34 and A38 into the centre.

Structural repairs on the Dartmouth Circus Overbridge on the Aston Expressway were completed last week, the city council said.

Image source, Midland Metro Alliance
Image caption,
Drivers were advised to use the inner ring road to access the city centre

Meanwhile road works continue to affect Lancaster Circus Queensway, the Fiveways roundabout and High Street Deritend in Digbeth.

A number of commuters have posted messages on social media in recent weeks.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

Bethan Williams, who takes the bus to work in the city centre, told BBC WM she regularly gets caught in traffic due to roadworks near Fiveways roundabout.

"The problem I have is that they seem to do everything at the same time. It takes them too long to do things," she said.

Another commuter said at times it took her 90 minutes to travel six miles.

The year-long closure of Paradise Circus was due to the "complex" engineering needed to build a tramway in a city centre, Midlands Metro Alliance said.

Image source, Network West Midlands
Image caption,
The next phase of the tram route will continue to Edgbaston and is expected to open in 2021

Network West Midlands is urging commuters to change routes and consider car sharing or public transport during the latest work.

A council spokesperson said in the long-term the work was necessary as part of plans to transform Birmingham into a "world-class city centre".

Its Big City Plan aims to bring new homes and jobs as well as an improved transport system.

Media caption,
A bird's eye view of the Paradise Circus demolition in Birmingham

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