Commonwealth Games transport breaks records

West Midlands’ transport network reached record numbers of passengers during the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Local train, tram, cycle, and bus travel all saw record breaking numbers across the eleven days as hundreds of thousands of sports fans made their way around the region. More than 650,000 spectator journeys on shuttle buses.

Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), working with transport operators and local authorities, developed, delivered and coordinated transport services for spectators throughout the Games, including running some 600 shuttle buses to and from venues across the region.

The focus on public transport in the Games’ plan was intended to keep private car use and traffic congestion to a minimum.

National Express West Midlands, who operate the local bus service, reached pre-pandemic passenger numbers (110%) for the first time on Sunday 7 August. National Express Coach put on hundreds of extra services to carry people from across the country during the Games.

“There has been a real spirit of joint partnership working with the Games organisers” – Tom Stables, CEO of National Express UK

Tom Stables, CEO of National Express UK, explains: “The travel requirement for such a big event meant there was significant additional demand on both our local bus services in the West Midlands and our UK-wide coach network.

“There has been a real spirit of joint partnership working with the Games organisers and all of the local authorities to put a plan in place so that visitors and residents alike could get to and around the region – and it’s been a huge success that we’re proud to have played a part of.

“Along with the planned diversions for marathons and cycle races affecting local travel networks, we also had to contend with two days of rail strikes putting extra pressure on our coach operations. It’s been a busy time for the business but our teams have pulled together and delivered a great service for passengers.

“Being based in Birmingham means we’ve experienced the buzz around the city first-hand and it’s been great to see. Our drivers have really enjoyed being part of making people welcome and showing off what a great place the West Midlands is.”

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