A RAPID sprint bus route will connect Solihull and Birmingham in time for the Commonwealth Games in 2022.
Proposals for new tram-style vehicles called Sprint were unveiled today (Thursday August 23) by Transport for West Midlands.
It says the new service will provide fast and reliable journeys along some of the region’s busiest roads.
The full network will be completed by 2026 and it is expected to be made up of seven routes.
The network will provide essential links to Birmingham city centre, the NEC, Birmingham Airport and the HS2 interchange.
Three of the seven sprint routes will be completed by 2022, one of which will run from Solihull town centre.
A Transport for West Midlands spokesperson said: “Public transport in the West Midlands is being transformed.
“Sprint is a brand new, modern, high quality public transport service.
“Sprint runs on the road, with dedicated bus lanes and priority through areas of congestion, which will make the journey times much more reliable.
“The vehicles will offer passengers a level of service and comfort similar to a tram, with off-board ticketing, multiple-door boarding, wheelchair and pushchair access, free Wi-Fi, and air conditioning as well as on-board audio visual announcements and travel information.”
West Midlands mayor Andy Street said: “Sprint will work in tandem with the new suburban rail lines and Metro tram routes we are building, creating a transport network that can grow our economy, give people cleaner air and squeeze the maximum benefit possible from HS2.
“But Sprint can also help make the Commonwealth Games a success which is why we are accelerating three of the routes.
“I would urge people to have their say on these plans and help showcase our region to the world and shape our future transport system.”
The three routes set to be completed by 2022 are:
– Birmingham City Centre to Birmingham Airport and Solihull (A45 serving NEC)
– Birmingham City Centre through Sandwell to Walsall (A34 serving Games Village and Alexander Stadium)
– Birmingham City Centre to Sutton Coldfield via Langley
Details of the plans, which would require some changes to road lanes, junctions, roadside parking and access, will also be available at a public event in Solihull on Saturday, September 15, from 9am to 3pm in Mell Square.
Public consultations will run till September 28.
For more information about the service, its routes and the public consultations go to www.tfwm.org.uk/sprint.