The first of a new generation of bus shelters has been unveiled in Perry Barr, Birmingham ready for the introduction of the Sprint rapid bus route next year.
The new shelter on Birchfield Road, near the junction with Livingstone Road, has been designed with the comfort and safety of bus users in mind.
It is larger than standard bus stops, features CCTV security cameras and offers easy access to buses – including for pushchairs and wheelchairs.
Cllr Chaman Lal and Mayor Andy Street
Sprint will provide a continuous cross-city bus priority route between Walsall and Solihull via Birmingham city centre on the A34 and A45. Up to 95 of these state-of-the art bus shelters will be installed along the route.
Bus priority at junctions and new bus lanes will improve journey times and ensure reliability of service for passengers as buses bypass traffic jams. A new fleet of zero emission buses, including hydrogen fuelled vehicles funded by Birmingham City Council, will run on the cross-city bus route from May 2022.
Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street said: “The bus is by far the most used form of public transport in the West Midlands, and our new Sprint project represents a major investment in improving both the services and infrastructure for the many passengers who rely on the bus each day.
“It is therefore brilliant to see Sprint taking shape on the ground, with real progress now being made to get the infrastructure in place ahead of the Commonwealth Games next year.”
Sprint is being delivered by Transport for West Midlands, part of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), in partnership with local councils.
Birmingham City Council cabinet advisor, Cllr Chaman Lal said: “It’s great to see that progress is being made on the A34 Sprint bus service corridor. Efficient, reliable, low carbon transport is much needed in Birmingham and will benefit residents and the travelling public well beyond the Commonwealth Games.”
Sprint, Birmingham's first uninterrupted cross-city bus priority route and service, will be developed in three stages with the first stage ready in time for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. It will link key venues at the NEC, Birmingham city centre and the Alexander Stadium.
Funding for the £88m first stage of the project includes contributions of £42 million from the WMCA investment fund and £35 million from the Department for Transport.
The next stages will see further bus priority measures introduced along the full route and the introduction of new tram-style low floor buses during 2023.
Investment in public transport is a key part of the region’s plan to encourage more alternatives to the car with a view to reducing congestion, improving air quality and helping the region achieve its #WM2041 net zero-carbon target.
On 13th July the WMCA is hosting the UK100 summit at which global city leaders will look at the climate change challenge facing cities.