Sprint is a bus priority corridor that links Walsall to Solihull and Birmingham Airport via Birmingham City Centre, along the A34 and A45. Sprint is designed to support the region's economic growth and expanding population, and will actively combat congestion by offering reliable, connected, and sustainable public transport.
A34/A45 Cross-city route
The A34/A45 cross-city route will be the first uninterrupted bus priority corridor of its kind, representing an exciting addition to the region's integrated transport network. As well as connecting Walsall, Birmingham city centre, and Solihull, the route will provide the critical links between Alexander Stadium, the NEC, and Birmingham Airport to support the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games.
There has been significant consultation and engagement with residents, business and community groups as part of the development for the A34/A45 Sprint route. Feedback from these key groups has been taken on board and revisions to the route have been made as a result. Funding for the first phase of the Walsall to Birmingham Airport and Solihull A34/A45 route was approved by the WMCA Board in February 2020.
Quicker journeys, without going any faster
Extended bus lanes and priority signalling along the corridor will mean quicker journey times and greater reliability for all buses – without vehicles going faster. Over 95 enhanced bus shelters designed specifically to improve both the comfort and safety of bus users will also be introduced along the corridor – granting easy access to vehicles, reducing bus stopping times and allowing for more reliable onward travel.
Connecting a growing region
By 2035, the population of the West Midlands is forecast to grow by 444,000. It’s vital that solutions are provided to meet the increased demand for sustainable public transport and give people reliable alternatives to the car.
Sprint has been a key feature of the regional transport strategy for several years, being first proposed in 2011 as part of the West Midlands Local Transport Plan. The future of Sprint comprises a new network of seven enhanced bus priority corridors linking key residential and employment areas and connecting with other transport initiatives including HS2 and Midland Metro.
Sprint will support efforts to open the region up to investment, jobs, growth and ultimately working towards a more prosperous West Midlands.
The Sprint Network
The Sprint vehicle
We are working with National Express to confirm plans to introduce high quality zero emission, low floor tram-style vehicles on the route during 2023. Articulated vehicles offer a similar level of customer experience to a tram, with enhanced passenger comfort through airy interiors and additional legroom, air conditioning, Wi-Fi, audio visual announcements and next-stop information. They also include better accessibility and more space for wheelchairs and buggies.