A PROPOSED two kilometre economic corridor either side of the Dudley to Brierley Hill metro extension has won the backing of the borough’s two main parties.

Members of Dudley’s cabinet have endorsed a report asking council officers be given extra powers to fast track the economic benefits of £250 million investment in the borough.

The extension will see existing trams travelling from Wednesbury through Great Bridge, Horseley Heath, Dudley Port, Dudley Town Centre, the Waterfront and Merry Hill before arriving at Brierley Hill town centre.

The report states: “This will enable the relevant officers to work in timeous fashion with partners, developers, investors and businesses to ensure that the full economic benefit of the metro extension is realised.”

Labour’s Cllr Keiran Casey, supporting the proposal, said: “I think this very important in terms of making sure we get the best from the metro for Dudley.

“Concerns have been made to me in that we make sure that all residents, ward members and businesses are consulted along that corridor and obviously we make the best of it and we do that right now, but I welcome the report.”

In response, Cllr Patrick Harley, Conservative leader of the council, said: “On every major scheme like this where it has been introduced across Europe there has been a clear up lift in regeneration and the economy in those corridors and I think we have a lot to look forward too.”

The first passenger services to Dudley are expected to begin by late 2022 and to Brierley Hill by 2023.