PLANS for a new metro line linking Halesowen with New Street and Moor Street railway stations have been announced as part of West Midland's Mayor Andy Street's £15billion plans to revolutionise public transport across the region.

The proposals feature the new Macarthur Metro line, which will link Halesowen with Quinton, New Street and Moor Street/HS2 Curzon Street rail stations in Birmingham as well as Solihull.

The Macarthur Line, named in tribute to Mary Macarthur who led the women chainmakers of Cradley Heath on a strike in 1910, will also link Halesowen with Oldbury, Tividale, Dudley and Russell’s Hall Hospital.

It will also link up with the Black Country Metro Line which will stop at Merry Hill and Stourbridge Junction and Stourbridge Town.

A Tube-style map was revealed at the launch this week illustrating the proposals (pictured below) and the eight new Metro lines.

Andy Street said: "This ambitious plan will provide a new level of connectivity in the Black Country, opening up opportunities and boosting economic growth.

“The new MacArthur line will finally bring the Metro to Halesowen, while also adding a stop at Russell’s Hall Hospital.

“The Black County Metro line will pass through Merry Hill, Brierley Hill and Amblecote before reaching a new stop at Stourbridge.

“In recent years we have made great progress completing the Metro extension to Centenary Square on time and on budget, and bringing the plans for the new rail stations to life in South Birmingham and the Black Country.

“But now is time for the next stage of ambition.

"This plan will connect communities which haven’t had Metro or rail lines for decades, and restore pride in the West Midlands.”

The West Midlands Mayor's plan, which he wants in place by 2040, will open up eight new Metro lines and 21 new rail stations.

Dudley News:

It will also see Metro lines running underground, 150 miles of new lines and 380 additional stops.

Halesowen MP James Morris said: “Halesowen is one of the largest towns in the UK that does not have its own rail connection, and I am pleased Andy Street has considered better connectivity for our town as part of his proposals for Metro extension.

"I realise these plans are very high level and nothing has been decided on the line of route.

"When plans have been properly worked up I look forward to working with the Combined Authority to ensure that they are appropriate with as little disruption or environmental impact as possible.”

The Wednesbury to Brierley Hill extension, serving Dudley, is planned to start running in three years time.

The Mayor, who is bidding for a second mayoral term in May, said costs would be met by additional funding from central Government, contributions from housing and commercial developers and borrowing against the future income from ticket sales on the Metro.

As part of the Metro scheme, sections of the line will run underground using ‘cut and cover’ tunnelling, allowing traffic to drive above the Metro line where there is not enough space on narrower roads.

There are also plans for new Birmingham rail stations in Balsall Heath and at Dudley Road.