AMBITIOUS plans for a new £24 million bus and Metro interchange in Dudley have been given the green light and this is how it will look.

West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) leaders have given the go ahead for the creation of the new Dudley Interchange which will include comfortable waiting areas, the latest real time travel information, cycle parking facilities and a selection of retail units.

Approval of the plan means work can now get underway on building the new high-quality bus and tram interchange which will form a crucial part of the wider regeneration of Dudley town centre.

The new interchange will be located on the site of the existing bus station, which was built in 1986 and is the oldest in the West Midlands as well as one of the busiest.

It will link to the new Metro tram extension currently under construction by the Midland Metro Alliance between Wednesbury and Brierley Hill; with both projects due to be completed in 2023.

Council chiefs say the seamless connectivity between bus and tram – and in the longer term a planned Sprint bus service – will offer people improved links to jobs and leisure opportunities throughout the West Midlands as well as offering visitors to Dudley town centre a comfortable and convenient alternative to the car.

Heres how the new Dudley Interchange will look

Here's how the new Dudley Interchange will look

Cllr Patrick Harley, leader of Dudley Council, said: “I welcome the confirmation of funding for the town’s interchange, we have continued to drive forward plans to improve access to travel for the town and this impressive facility will help people to connect their bus, Metro and rail journeys.

“Our plans for Dudley town centre will revolutionise the education offer in our borough and create exciting new jobs and opportunities for local people, and transport will be a key component in making our vision a reality."

Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), part of the combined authority, is leading on the interchange project in partnership with Dudley Council.

Most of the funding is coming from the region’s Transforming Cities Fund allocation, topped up with contributions from the council and WMCA.

Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street, said: "I am delighted we have approved even more funding for Dudley, with the new interchange set to provide a fitting gateway to what will be a revitalised and reborn town centre.”

The interchange scheme is part of a wider £1billion regeneration masterplan for Dudley borough and Mr Street said: "Like other town centres Dudley has been hit hard in recent years, which is why the WMCA is putting its cash to good use to help revitalise the borough.

“Through helping to knock down the tombstone of Cavendish House to make way for the Portersfield development, to extending the Midland Metro through the town to Brierley Hill, we are committed to doing what we can to support the council in bringing their ambitious £1bn masterplan to life."

Other major regeneration projects in Dudley town centre include improvements to Dudley Zoo and the Black Country Living Museum, the £450m Wednesbury to Brierley Hill Metro extension, the Portersfield development which is a proposed £82m mixed-use regeneration scheme comprising 12 acres of retail, entertainment and student/residential accommodation on the old Cavendish House site, the new £31m Dudley Leisure Centre, the £28m Very Light Rail National Innovation Centre and the £26.8m Black Country and Marches Institute of Technology.