Friday, 21 February 2020

Tram Style Buses for Walsall, Solihull, Great Barr & Birmingham Airport.

New tram-style buses will hit the roads in the Black Country after the £88 million scheme was finally signed off by transport bosses.

The Sprint service will run along the A34 between Walsall and Birmingham, via Great Barr, and include routes to Birmingham Airport and Solihull.

The buses will use designated lanes and be given traffic light priority at busy junctions to ensure journeys are as fast and smooth as possible.

Members of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) board have now approved the full business case for the project, including funding and the timetable for the project.

The Sprint bus scheme has been a source of controversy in Walsall, with residents and businesses along the A34 complaining about loss of parking and trade.

The new pollution-busting cross-city service is set to be launched in time for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

While the 25-mile Outer Circle bus route has gone round the city for more than 90 years, the new Sprint service will cut straight through the centre to connect Walsall with Solihull.

The new zero emissions Sprint bus route will also support the city's clean air policies.

The vehicles will be similar to the ones used on the recently launched Belfast 'Glider'

The stops will offer a spacious and sheltered waiting environment with comfortable seating, pre-payment ticket machines to ensure efficient boarding and passenger information to help people find their way around.

Birmingham City Council leader Ian Ward said the service was and "important piece of infrastructure to encourage people to shift from cars to public transport".

This project has been under consideration for some time now, see a previous Focus Transport posting here.

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