Transport minister Norman Baker conducted the first piece of shovel work as he got the Midland Metro extension in Birmingham underway.
Once completed in 2015, the scheme will see trams returning to the streets of Birmingham for the first time in over 50 years and create more than 1,500 sustainable new jobs in the process.
More than 3.5 million passengers a year will be delivered right into the heart of the city's shopping district by the new network, helping the scheme boost the regional economy by more than £50 million a year.
The work is part of a wider £127 million joint project between Centro and the Black Country and Birmingham City councils.
“This is an example of the kind of infrastructure project we need to help boost growth around the UK," said Mr Baker.
"The Metro extension will also cut congestion, improve air quality and be a real boon for the local economy."
Author: Editor Gavin Pearson (firstname.lastname@example.org or 0207 202 0255)