£1.9m Cradley Heath interchange work starts
Work is underway on a new £1.9m bus and rail interchange at Cradley Heath. The facility is being paid for through the Better Bus Area Fund, which has provided £10m to improve public transport in Brierley Hill, Merry Hill and Cradley Heath. The West Midlands was the only region to receive the full amount of £5m available in this scheme, which was awarded in spring 2012. This money was matched by local funding, with contributions from the DfT, bus operators, Sandwell Council, Dudley Council and Centro, the public transport co-ordinator for the West Midlands. The money has also been used for a £1.2m bus priority and road improvement scheme in nearby Merry Hill.
Due to be completed in the spring, the interchange is to feature new toilets, electronic passenger information, a CCTV system and Help Points. It will also have tactile information at each stand, talking totems that will give audio passenger information when a special key fob is used and cycle storage areas. The new facility will boast six bus stands, four within the main building featuring automatic doors that only open when the bus arrives, as well as two on a newly constructed island in the centre of the site.
MD of National Express West Midlands, Peter Coates, said, ‘This great new facility will provide customers with real-time information on their services, improved facilities and the latest safety technology. The new Cradley Interchange will make a big difference to tens of thousands of people’s journeys every week and is exactly the kind of improvement that will make more people choose public transport.’