Construction starts on Sprint priority bus route

Construction work is underway on the Sprint bus route designed to deliver improved journey times and more reliable services linking Walsall, Birmingham and Solihull.

The Sprint bus corridor along the A45 and A34 will feature new and extended bus lanes and give buses priority at junctions to beat the traffic jams.

Construction work has now started on Small Heath Highway in Birmingham, with work in Walsall, Sandwell and Solihull due to start later in the year.

Sprint, Birmingham’s first uninterrupted cross-city bus priority route, will be built in stages, with phase one set to be ready in time for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. It will link key venues at the NEC, Birmingham city centre and the Alexander Stadium.

A second phase of bus priority measures will then be delivered on the route after the Commonwealth Games, to further improve bus journey times.

The project is part of Transport for West Midlands long term vision for bus service improvements. Last month it was announced that National Express West Midlands will run a fleet of zero-emission buses, including hydrogen-powered vehicles, on the route from May 2022.

Over 95 enhanced bus shelters, designed specifically to improve both the comfort and safety of bus users, will be introduced along the route, offering easy access to vehicles, reducing the time the bus needs to spend at a stop and allowing for more reliable onward travel to key destinations.

Transport Minister, Baroness Vere, said: “Buses are a vital part of day-to-day life for many people across the country, so it’s wonderful to see works are underway to get this scheme up and running, which will speed up bus journeys for millions of people in the Midlands.

“This Government is committed to improving bus services for everyone. Our contribution of £35m to this vital scheme is a real reflection of that commitment, and our National Bus Strategy, which will be published soon, will set out how we will continue to strive to meet the needs of passengers.”

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