Paradise Circus and Centenary Square will be closed to traffic from September as work on the Metro tram extension begins a new phase of development.

The closures will allow work to begin on the next stage of the Birmingham city centre tram line between the Town Hall and Centenary Square.

Commuters and motorists are warned that buses and cars will face diversions around the area when work begins.

The works mean:

  • Paradise Circus will be closed to vehicles in both directions from Monday, September 3 until summer 2019
  • The A38 Queensway tunnels, underneath Paradise Circus will remain fully open in both directions
  • Traffic marshals will be placed to help drivers at the junction of Holliday Street and Suffolk Street
  • Centenary Square, at the end of Broad Street, will be closed to all vehicles
  • Bus services will be diverted via Sheepcote Street and Bath Row

Passenger services from Grand Central to Centenary Square are due to start running from late in 2019.

Work will then begin on the further extension, to Edgbaston Five Ways, which is due to be completed and open for passengers by the end of 2021 - in time for the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. The total extension is costing about £149 million.

The West Midlands Metro new extension features five new stops: Victoria Square, Centenary Square, Brindleyplace, Five Ways and Hagley Road.

Trams from Wolverhampton, West Bromwich, Handsworth and the Jewellery Quarter will now have direct links to popular attractions including the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, the International Convention Centre and Symphony Hall as well as the city centre's key new development areas.

An artists impression of West Midlands Metro calling at a new Metro stop in Victoria Square.

Last month workers digging up Victoria Square for the tram lines found a 17th Century path and archaeologists were called in to fully research the historic find before work could continue.

Detailed plans are also being developed for the Eastside extension from the corner of Bull Street and Corporation Street out to the new HS2 station at Curzon Street and back along New Canal Street into Digbeth. That is due to arrive by 2026.

West Midlands Mayor Andy Street said: “The continued expansion of the West Midlands Metro network is a real success story for the region and this extension is a major milestone in taking it forward.

CGI of the Edgbaston extension of the Midland Metro tram to Hagley Road
CGI of the Edgbaston extension of the Midland Metro tram to Hagley Road

“That we are already at such a key stage in taking it from Birmingham City Centre up to Centenary Square and beyond to Edgbaston is really good news.

"Inevitably with such a massive engineering project there are going to be knock-on effects to existing traffic as work takes place, but

"I would urge people who may be affected to consider the bigger picture. By better connecting our towns and cities we create a transport network that strengthens economic growth, creates jobs, and helps bring greater prosperity to this region.”

Alejandro Moreno, director of Midland Metro Alliance, said: “We recognise that there will be some disruption to those living, working, travelling and visiting the city during this vital next stage of Metro works.

“We are working closely with Birmingham City Council, local Business Improvement Districts, Transport for West Midlands and public transport operators to minimise impact. As with our other projects, we aim to ensure the local economy benefits by sourcing goods and labour, wherever possible, from the local supply chain.”

The Midland Metro Alliance has written to residents, businesses and organisations and will be issuing information to commuters and visitors to the city centre over the summer ahead of the road closures.