Transport for the West Midlands has revised its plans for the first Sprint rapid bus routes following earlier consultations. The changes include plans to retain parking bays on the A34 Walsall Road and proposals to ease congestion at the Scott Arms junction, as well as a delay on the introduction of a Sprint route to Sutton Coldfield town centre until after 2022 and a pledge to minimise loss of green space or replace any trees or greenery lost on all routes.
“We listened to people who responded to our consultation and promised to look at the issues raised,” says Laura Shoaf, managing director, TfWM. “ As a result we have come up with these revised plans for our Sprint programme.
“The proposed loss of parking spaces was a key concern for residents and the A34 Safety Action Group, so I am pleased that on the A34 we have be able to develop two design options under which parking bays on Walsall Road can be retained while ensuring that Sprint can continue to deliver benefits to passengers.
“Sprint is a modern bus service that will be extremely reliable so passengers can be sure when their bus will depart and arrive at its destination. Currently there are wide variations in bus journey times which puts people off.”
Councillor Waseem Zaffar, cabinet member for transport and environment, Birmingham City Council, adds: “I have always been clear that the future of transport in Birmingham is about the movement of people rather than cars and Sprint will have a hugely important role to play in this, increasing the public transport options on offer and helping to reduce congestion which, in turn, will help reduce polluting vehicle emissions.”
The planned Sprint routes are A34 Birmingham to Walsall which will be delivered by 2022; Sutton Coldfield to Birmingham via Langley with the first phase completed by 2022; and A45 Birmingham to Solihull to be delivered by 2022.