Construction of the first phase of the Sprint bus rapid transit network has been completed in Birmingham, improving cross city travel for people who live and work in and around the region. Sprint is described as the first cross city corridor of its kind.
The A34 and A45 routes are being delivered in two parts with the £88million first phase now completed which connects Walsall with Birmingham city centre and Birmingham Airport – joining the A34 with the A45 to create one continuous route. The second phase is expected to follow next year to complete the continuous bus priority between Walsall and the airport and extend the route to Solihull.
The route is designed to enable Birmingham and West Midlands to further benefit from HS2, helping to spread the benefits by linking Walsall and Solihull and the intermediate communities directly with the new HS2 Curzon Street and Interchange stations.
The bus rapid transit project has been developed and delivered by Transport for West Midlands, part of the West Midlands Combined Authority, in partnership with local councils. The scheme has been funded by the Department for Transport.
Anne Shaw, executive director, TfWM, says: “With dedicated bus lanes and priority at key junctions Sprint will ensure our bus services are more reliable and more attractive to the travelling public from day one.
“With phase 2 and the introduction of the region’s first cross-city bus service to follow we will see even more benefit for passengers – a high quality service to encourage more people to swap the car and traffic congestion for a reliable high-quality bus service.
“Sprint is also a key part of our wider green transport revolution which is delivering new bus, rail, Metro and cycle schemes to support our economy and decarbonise our transport network.”
National Express West Midlands will be running Sprint services along the corridor once phase 2 has been completed in 2024. This will see the introduction of a fleet of zero-emission articulated vehicles to further improve journey times and comfort for passengers.