Work begins on Sprint bus priority measures on A45 in Birmingham

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 which lead to quicker and more dependable  journey times.

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, the Birmingham’s first uninterrupted cross-city bus priority route, will be built in stages, with phase 1 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.

The project is part of Transport for West Midlands long term vison for bus service improvements.

Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street said: “Before lockdown we were seeing increases in bus passenger numbers across the region thanks to investment in areas such as contactless payment, simplified fares and live travel information.

“Now with dedicated bus lanes and priority at traffic lights Sprint will offer improved reliability and offer a high quality service on the A45 and A34 which can be a real alternative to the car.

“Sprint is also a key part of our wider transport revolution which is delivering new bus, rail, Metro and cycle schemes which will support our economy as we recover from the pandemic and serve the people of the West Midlands for generations to come.”

The project is being developed by Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), part of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), in collaboration with Walsall, Solihull, Sandwell and Birmingham City Councils.

Funding for the £88m first phase of the project includes contributions of £42m from the WMCA investment fund and £35m from the Department for Transport.