Public backing for Birmingham Sprint routes

Transport for West Midlands says its recent public consultation saw around three quarters of a total of more than 1,500 respondents either partially or wholly support its plans for three Sprint rapid bus routes in Birmingham and the region. Some concerns were raised by the public, including loss of parking on the A34 route and the proposed route through Sutton Coldfield, Langley and Peddimore.

TWfM says it is now reviewing the route design in the light of these responses.

“We would like to thank all members of the public who took the time to respond to our consultation,” says mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street. “We are delighted that so many welcomed our plans for a modern and reliable bus rapid transit system for the West Midlands.

“We also recognise that some residents raised genuine concerns about the introduction of Sprint and are committed to consider alternative designs to see if we can address those understandable concerns.”

Sprint will operate on dedicated lanes with priority through junctions and the tram-style buses will have multiple doors to improve journey times.

Cllr Waseem Zaffar, cabinet member for transport and environment at Birmingham City Council, adds: “Sprint will play a hugely important role in helping to encourage more people out of cars and on to public transport, which in turn will reduce congestion on our roads as well as polluting vehicle emissions.

“I have been in regular contact with TfWM to ensure that we have a scheme that is not only acceptable to local residents but also meets our objectives of substantially improving Birmingham’s public transport offer, so I am pleased that the mayor and TfWM are listening to the feedback received during the consultation.”

The three Sprint routes were originally intended to be introduced by 2026 as part of the HS2 connectivity programme, but have been brought forward to be ready for the Commonwealth Games in 2022. TfWM also consulted over the development of a Sprint route along Hagley Road, one of four further Sprint routes being planned for introduction by 2026.