FAQ's

General Sprint

Sprint is a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) service that delivers predictable journey times and high frequency, dependable timetables.

BRT is used across the world as part of an integrated transport system and the standard vehicle for this type of service is an articulated bus.

BRT replicates the spacious feel and speed of tram, whilst maintaining the flexibility, lower cost and simplicity of a bus system.

BRT offers a similar journey experience to a light rail or tram system and uses low floor, multi door vehicles.  Serving fewer stops and with passengers using off-board ticketing or contactless payment, this reduces the dwell times at stops and helps reduce minimise the delays often experienced with regular bus services.

BRT runs on existing roads enhanced by a range of measures to ensure journey time reliability and an enhanced customer experience including high priority lanes, signal controlled priority at traffic lights and new improved shelters. 

Sprint will have on board wifi, next stop announcements and CCTV security all part of ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience to encourage more people to switch from using their car.  

Our region is growing. By 2035, the population of the West Midlands is set to increase by up to 444,000 (100 people per day) and we expect 215, 000 new homes to be built across the region by 2030. In the same period, we anticipate that business investment will generate an additional 50,000 jobs, while the introduction of HS2 will open our connections to a wider area. We also want growth to be inclusive and sustainable so that everyone can benefit from the opportunities it will bring. Investment in our passenger transport network will help provide the capacity and quality of service we need, while helping to keep our region moving.

The main benefits are:

  • Dependable journey times
  • Pre-payment for faster boarding
  • Enhanced stops with ticket machines, security cameras, improved lighting, emergency help points and platforms that offer near-level boarding
  • Real-time departure information, along with enhanced maps and signage
  • High quality vehicles with wider aisles and multiple doors

Wait times at stops will be reduced by the provision of advance fare-paying and multiple-door boarding while investment in the highway infrastructure and giving Sprint traffic priority will contribute significantly to journey time reliability.

We are prioritising three routes which will be delivered by 2022 in time for the Commonwealth Games.

These are:

  • Birmingham Airport and Solihull to Birmingham (A45)
  • Walsall to Birmingham (A34)
  • Sutton Coldfield to Birmingham via Langley (SBL) - First phase 

Further routes will be delivered by 2026 as part of the HS2 connectivity package, ensuring access to key high speed rail interchanges at HS2 Curzon Street and Birmingham Interchange. 

These are:

  • Sutton Coldfield to Birmingham via Langley (SBL) - Second phase
  • Dudley to Birmingham 
  • Halesowen to Birmingham
  • Longbridge to Birmingham
  • Hall Green to HS2 Interchange via Solihull

Two Sprint services will be operational in time for the Commonwealth Games in July 2022; Walsall to Birmingham (A34) and Birmingham to Airport and Solihull (A45). The first phase of the Sutton Coldfield to Birmingham via Langley, infrastructure improvements between Birmingham city centre and Pype Hayes Park, including improvements between Churchill Road and Riland Road, will also be delivered by 2022. The remainder of the Sprint routes will be operational in 2026.

Funds for Sprint will come from West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), Department for Transport and other third party contributions (including Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government funding for the A34 scheme/Perry Barr). Devolved central government funding has been identified by the WMCA as part of the HS2 Connectivity Package. This package includes Sprint, tram and rail schemes, which will support improved connectivity across the region, whilst plugging in to HS2. Funds will be spent on further development and preparatory works for the schemes at this stage.   

A Sprint scheme can be provided for less than 25% of the capital cost of Metro and by using existing highway powers, can be delivered in less time.  Investments and schemes of this scale undergo rigorous scrutiny through a business case assurance process, of which value for money is one of the parameters tested.  The decision and full business case sign off for Sprint schemes will be made by the WMCA Board.

The Sprint network will use a combination of existing designated bus lanes, newly-created bus lanes and will also have priority through areas of congestion.

In the majority of locations we expect that Sprint lanes can be used by buses, cyclists, motorbikes, and taxis (not private hire). Hours of operation have been tailored to the requirements of individual locations. 

The pricing structure has yet to be agreed. It will form part of the negotiations with prospective operating companies in advance of service starting in 2022.

We are working with prospective operators to review the fare payment and revenue protection strategy. It is anticipated that concessionary pass holders and nBus card holders will be able to use their pass on Sprint.

The vehicles used on Sprint will deliver a similar level of customer experience to that provided on a tram. Sprint will offer excellent passenger comfort with airy interiors, plenty of legroom, air conditioning with Wi-Fi, audio visual announcements and on-board next stop information.

Articulated vehicles are the standard type of vehicle used on BRT particularly on linear urban routes. The case for articulated buses is predicated on reduced dwell times, better accessibility, better passenger environment and movement throughout the vehicle. Low floor also provides a more stable and smoother journey for passengers. Multi door vehicles allow for reduced dwell times, which will also be further improved through the use of off board ticketing or the use of conductors on vehicles. Articulated buses provide further benefits as well as more predictable journey times. These include better accessibility for those who cannot climb stairs and more space for wheelchairs and buggies.

A double decker bus has approximately 73 seats with an overall capacity of around 90. An articulated vehicle will have approximately 46 seats with an overall capacity of around 110. 

Over 300 stops will be provided for the full network. Some stops will be in existing bus stop locations and some will be new. Customers will benefit from improved shelters with pre-payment facilities, CCTV and wayfinding information.

Sprint will integrate with other public passenger services and facilitate ongoing journey requirements.

There will be improved access to jobs and growth opportunities including those provided by HS2, Birmingham’s Big City Plan, and other major employers in our region such as Jaguar Land Rover.

We have included any changes to the position of bus stops within the consultation designs, but these are subject to review following feedback. There will be a more detailed localised consultation on the specifics around the shelters and stops in 2019.

A commitment to bus priority is required for Sprint to achieve its primary aim of increased journey reliability. In some cases, reallocation of road space has been considered so that Sprint and other bus services can avoid long delays as a result of congestion, with minimum impact to local residents. At the same time, it is intended that Sprint will increase the amount of capacity on the road network, which, in turn, may help to relieve pressure at major pinch points. During construction, we will work with the respective local highway authorities to ensure that construction works are co-ordinated as efficiently as possible to minimise inconvenience to road users.

We aim to provide an integrated solution for all passengers. We have assessed each location on its individual merits to ensure other modes are considered and that, where possible, future cycle routes are not precluded. The West Midlands Combined Authority is also seeking funding for future cycling enhancements on these routes.

Advanced construction works will start in 2019 with main construction running from spring 2020 to late 2021.

We will be engaging with older and disabled users during the vehicle specification and design phases to ensure the vehicles are fit for purpose. It is worth noting Sprint vehicles are expected to provide 46 seats on a single level floor which will be easier to access for those with reduced mobility. Relative to existing services, this allows for more seats on one lower level. Low floor vehicles also provide much greater stability for passengers, allowing easier movement through the vehicle for all. 

Sprint routes are linked to sites where future growth is expected (such as Langley, Perry Barr, and Birmingham Airport) and has been informed by local transport plans across the region. Post-2026 there is also opportunity to extend the Sprint routes to other new developments if required. 

We are committed to ongoing engagement with communities as we progress schemes through development and construction delivery.  All parties interested in Sprint's progress can keep up to date via our quarterly e-newsletter. Information on how to sign up can be found on our website tfwm.org.uk/development/sprint. For those who would prefer hard copy updates, contact our dedicated telephone hotline 0121 214 7321. Where the resolved options present significant changes, such as those on Ablewell Street and Perry Barr, there will be additional targeted engagement with all those affected.

There are some locations where trees will need to be removed to allow for additional bus priority. The importance of green space is recognised by West Midlands Combined Authority as a promoter of good physical and mental health which is why Environmental Impact Assessments will be carried out for every Sprint scheme to ensure appropriate mitigation. The local highway authority tree replacement policy will also be applied to Sprint schemes.

The vehicle specified in the Sprint proposal will have a better than Euro VI engine as a minimum standard. Consultation feedback, however, showed enthusiasm for zero-emission vehicles. We will be evaluating zero-emission vehicles (in accordance with delivery timescales) against other types of propulsion system as part of the vehicle procurement process. We will keep partners and stakeholders updated as this progresses. 

The Sprint Operator has yet to be agreed and will be announced in due course.

We have hand delivered letters to those people and businesses that are directly impacted by the proposals. If you have not received one of these letters then we do not need your land.

The scheme is not being delivered solely because of the Commonwealth Games (CWG). It’s a scheme identified in ‘Movement for Growth’ to support the Strategic Economic Plan for the region. It also features in both Birmingham Connected and Solihull Connected. https://www.birmingham.gov.uk/downloads/file/1932/birmingham_connected_white_ paperpdf. The A34 and A45 Sprint schemes are part of the HS2 Connectivity Package which was approved by the WMCA Board in February 2017.
The schemes were prioritised in December 2017 due to the region’s success of the CWG bid, and given the additional benefits it would provide to the transport access requirements for these games.

We will always discuss and negotiate with landowners in the first instance if we need to acquire land. If we cannot reach a mutual agreement on a purchase, we may then seek to obtain the land via compulsory purchase. Sprint may also follow up mutually agreed land purchases with Compulsory Purchase Order as this will ensure that any discrepancies between land registry boundaries and actual boundaries are covered.

Yes, further training will be required to drive Sprint vehicles. This will be the responsibility of the chosen operator, following procurement.  Sprint drivers will have attended a Safe Urban Driving course which is designed to teach drivers how to look out for and drive more safely around cyclists.

Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs) will be required for any parking / loading changes and any other new restrictions (eg banned turns). These would be applied for after the scheme is approved by Birmingham City Council’s Cabinet and the WMCA, but before work commences. On our current programme this would mean that TROs would be advertised in late 2019.

While the final timetable is yet to be confirmed, Sprint standards have been developed to formalise the ambitions and expectations of the Sprint network. Key minimum features of the timetables are;


• Operating with a core timetable 0700-1900 Monday to Friday, and 0900-1800 on Saturdays
• Night time and Sunday services to operate after these hours according to demand
• Daytime services at least every 10 minutes
• Early morning and late evening services at least every 20 minutes, with regular ‘clock face’ spacing
• Services will be increased at times of peak demand, such as major sporting or entertainment events

The stop environment will have a distinct and high quality appearance that separates them from standard bus shelters. The shelters will provide a high quality waiting environment, providing shelter, safety, security and information. Dependent on the ticketing system specified, ticket purchase facilities may be provided, or facilities to collect/validate pre-purchased tickets by smartcards. The shelters will enable quick and easy access to the vehicles.


The Sprint stop environment will provide:


• High quality branded stops with illuminated shelters, seating, real time passenger information, CCTV facilities, help points and information
• Off-board ticketing machines, and/or smartcard top-up/validation points where possible
• Safe, secure and signed pedestrian routes will be provided, linked to signals and vehicle priorities as appropriate
• Secure cycle parking facilities may be provided at stops, where demand exists and suitable land is available
• Easy access for wheelchairs and pushchairs, and a stop environment that promotes accessibility. We are planning to install a shelter prototype in spring 2019 to assess its suitability and robustness. We will be engaging with representative groups to ensure it is appropriate for all users.

At each stage of design, the design risk register is fully reviewed to ensure that the level of detail captured is proportionate to the stage of the scheme. A full review will be undertaken at detailed design stage to ensure that all design risks are captured and mitigation proposed. 

We are working with our Local Authority partners to understand and coordinate construction works planned over the coming years to ensure that we keep disruption to a minimum. We will also be working with communities affected to highlight alternative travel options as a result of any disruption caused. Please visit www.networkwestmidlands.com to help plan your journey during construction 

Walsall to Birmingham City Centre (A34)

The A34 North is an important connection to Birmingham and Walsall, serving residents and businesses in Aston, Perry Barr, and Great Barr. The route also serves as a diversion route for traffic from the M6 and is susceptible to significant congestion as a result. The existing services on the route suffer from journey time variability and the express services available do not serve many of the key locations on the corridor. Sprint aims to address this journey time variability whilst reducing the overall length of time it takes to travel between key areas. This will improve the connectivity along this route and support the expected growth in both Perry Barr and Birmingham City Centre, linking people to new jobs, homes, facilities, and onward connections.

Equally, the A34 Sprint scheme forms a significant part of the Metropolitan Rail and Rapid Transit Network which is outlined in the West Midlands Strategic Transport Plan - Movement for Growth. The area served by A34 Sprint will also be subject to significant development and regeneration, including within the Birmingham City Centre Enterprise Zone, HS2 Curzon Street Station and surrounding Masterplan area, the main location for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games at Alexander Stadium, the regeneration of Perry Barr and Walsall Town Centre.

Sprint has therefore been identified to support growing demand on this key route corridor, generate inclusive growth as a result of new developments and encourage sustainable travel through modal shift.

The A34 Sprint scheme was included within Birmingham Mobility Action Plan (Birmingham Connected) in 2014, the HS2 Connectivity Package in 2015 as part of the HS2 Growth Strategy, and the West Midlands Strategic Transport Plan (Movement for Growth) in 2016.

 

The following measures have been identified:

  • Carriageway widening to provide additional lanes/lane width
  • Changing general traffic lanes to bus lanes
  • Restrictions on parking (on-street) and loading;
  • Improvements to junctions including at-grade (existing street level) infrastructure changes, and priority for Sprint at traffic signals;
  • New or extended sections of bus lane (for use by Sprint and conventional buses);
  • New laybys to allow Sprint vehicles to easily overtake conventional buses;
  • Closure of some side-road junctions and/or restriction of turning movements.

Please refer to the plans for detail at specific locations. There are no instances where building demolition is required

The Sprint proposals include some changes to parking and loading, some of which are being reviewed following public consultation. Changes to both parking and loading extents will be subject to a further consultation exercise as required and as part of the Traffic Regulation Orders (TRO) process.

Perry Barr - Birmingham

In March 2019, we committed to retain parking between Perry Barr and Scott Arms and are currently developing options to achieve this. There are two options under consideration:

Option 1: Highway widening into verges and central reserve to allow for retention of most parking, while still providing bus priority.

Option 2: Reallocate a general traffic lane to provide bus priority between Perry Barr and Scott Arms in order to retain more parking.

We have reviewed this proposal and will undertake traffic modelling to understand the impact. This will then be discussed with Birmingham City Council, Highways England, Sandwell Council and Walsall Council. It is anticipate that this initial feasibility work will be completed in Spring 2019. If the preferred option includes significant changes, there will be additional targeted engagement between Perry Barr and Scott Arms, starting May 2019. We will work with local stakeholders to ensure that affected residents, businesses and road users are involved in the engagement exercise.

Ablewell Street - Walsall

After members of the Sprint team met with local businesses (5th November 2019), the bus lane proposal on Ablewell Street has been reviewed, with a view to retaining more parking where viable, while retaining bus priority. A revised design proposal has been produced and shared with Walsall MBC. The next stage is to undertake traffic modelling to assess the impact of the proposal on local traffic. If the preferred option includes significant changes, as expected, there will be additional targeted engagement on this section of the route. We will work with local stakeholders to ensure that affected residents and businesses are well-informed of the consultation in spring 2019.

Newtown Row - Birmingham

Southbound (towards Birmingham City Centre) bus lane extension towards Lancaster Circus. Changes to parking and loading will be required. Segregated bus lane at St Stephen’s Street outbound.

Aston Six Ways - Birmingham

Southbound bus lane serving Six Ways to be considered. Changes to parking and loading will be required.

Birchfield Road

Extension to existing bus lane on both directions of the junction with Heathfield Road / Trinity Road. Changes to parking and loading will be required.

Birmingham Road – Scott Arms to M6 Jct 7

New bus lane northbound. Changes to parking and loading will be required.

 

 

Sprint will offer a more frequent service than the train. It will also stop at other key locations for jobs and entertainment (such as Scott Arms, Alexander Stadium, Aston University, and HS2 in 2026). The route will also provide a direct connection to Birmingham Airport and Solihull.

There are proposed to be approximately 20 stops in each direction of the route: Birmingham Moor Street, Aston University, Lower Tower Street, Newtown, Aston Six Ways*, Heathfield Road, Perry Barr, Glendower Road, Alexander Stadium, Tower Hill, Booths Farm Road, Scott Arms, Cross Lane, Chapel Lane, The Bell, Queens Road, Broadway, Walsall Six Ways, Upper Bridge Street, and Walsall town centre. Please refer to the plans for individual locations.

Stop locations will be finalised during the detailed design stage. 

We expect all bus stops on the route to continue to be served by bus services.

The exact locations are yet to be confirmed.

We have committed to identify possible sites for Park and Ride facilities with the view to encourage more people to choose Sprint over car. A concept design proposal has been produced and there has been positive dialogue with landowners of the preferred location.  Sign up to our newsletter to keep informed. 

We are developing an outline delivery programme for the A34 Sprint route. This will be further developed through the course of detail design and refined / confirmed upon the appointment of a principal contractor. Key milestones for the A34 Sprint programme, are detailed below;

 

  • Detail design completion – August 2019.
  • Local Highway Authority cabinet reports approval – September 2019.
  • Full business case submission – September 2019.
  • Full business case approval – January 2020.
  • Construction contract award – January 2020
  • Construction start – February 2020.
  • Construction completion – December 2021.
  • Project completion and close out – March 2022.

The proposed frequency of the service is likely to be every 10 minutes.

Sprint is proposed for operation in 2022 and in advance of the Commonwealth Games.

Birmingham to Walsall: approximately 40 minutes or less.

Scott Arms to Walsall: approximately 18 minutes or less

Perry Barr to Birmingham:  approximately 15 minutes or less

Scott Arms to Birmingham: approximately 20 minutes or less

Existing bus services, such as the X51, are managed by an independent operator therefore we cannot confirm at this stage what services will operate alongside Sprint. We are committed to working with all operators to deliver an integrated transport system which will benefit bus passengers on the A34 corridor. We also expect all bus services that operate on the A34 will benefit from improved journey reliability times due to the Sprint improvements.

It is important to note that while the X51 service operates relatively new vehicles, it falls short of our aspirations for reliable, dependable bus journey times. This is because dwell times at stops extend significantly when the service is busy and when the service is frequently delayed when the highway gets congested at peak times. Bus priority measures and efficient boarding will help to address these issues.  

Birmingham City Council is in the process of constructing a 4.5km cycle route from Birmingham City Centre to Perry Barr as part of the Birmingham Cycle Revolution initiative which opened in Spring 2019.  In partnership with Birmingham City Council, Sandwell Council and Walsall Council, we are to look into the feasibility of extending this route north of Perry Barr towards Walsall, on the A34 corridor. It is important to note, all Sprint drivers will have attended a Safe Urban Driving course which is designed to teach drivers how to look out for and drive more safely around cyclists using bus lanes.

We expect all bus stops on the route to continue to be served by other bus services.

An additional Sprint option has been developed to provide improved bus priority on the approaches to this junction, and is being discussed with Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council. We aim to confirm the preferred design by summer 2019.

Consultation results showed that most respondents were not in favour. This is yet to be determined. The final decision on Sprint’s stopping pattern will be taken with the operator and Birmingham City Council in summer 2019. The
detailed design for bus priority at Aston Six Ways will continue to be developed, as this will benefit existing bus services.

Birmingham Airport and Solihull to Birmingham City Centre (A45)

The A45 is an important connection for Birmingham, Birmingham Airport and Solihull, serving residents and businesses in Digbeth, Sheldon, and Yardley. The route is the key link to East Birmingham and is susceptible to significant congestion as a result. The existing services on the route suffer from journey time variability and the expected growth at UK Central is expected to exacerbate this issue. Sprint aims to address this journey time variability whilst reducing the overall length of time it takes to travel between key areas. This will improve the connectivity along this route and support the expected growth in Solihull, Birmingham City Centre, and UK Central linking people to new jobs, homes, facilities, and onward connections. 

The following measures have been identified:

  • Carriageway widening to provide additional lanes/lane width
  • Changing general traffic lanes to bus lanes
  • Restrictions on parking (on-street) and loading;
  • Improvements to junctions including at-grade (existing street level) infrastructure changes, and priority for Sprint at traffic signals;
  • New or extended sections of bus lane (usable by Sprint and conventional buses);
  • New laybys to allow Sprint vehicles to easily overtake conventional buses;
  • Closure of some side-road junctions and/or restriction of turning movements.

Please refer to the plans for detail at specific locations. There are no instances where building demolition is required.

Sprint serves different communities and provides key links to businesses, public services, jobs and entertainment (such as Swan Island, Jaguar Land Rover, Digbeth and the Wheatsheaf). We are also considering linking the A45 Sprint and A34 Sprint routes to provide a direct connection to Perry Barr and Walsall. 

There are proposed to be approximately 20 stops in each direction of the route:

Birmingham to Solihull: Birmingham Moor Street, Smithfield – Markets, Digbeth Coach Station, Custard Factory, Small Heath Station, Hay Mills, Holder Road, Yardley Swan, Sunnymead Road, Brays Road, Lyndon Road, Sheldon Wheatsheaf, Old Lode Lane, Hobs Moat, Castle Lane, JLR, Henley Crescent, Lode Heath School, Solihull Hospital, Solihull Town Centre, Solihull Station.

Birmingham to Birmingham Airport: Birmingham Moor Street, Smithfield – Markets, Digbeth Coach Station, Custard Factory, Small Heath Station, Hay Mills, Holder Road, Yardley Swan, Sunnymead Road, Brays Road, Lyndon Road, Sheldon Wheatsheaf, Coalway Avenue, Arden Oak, Hatchford Way, Cargo Terminal, Birmingham Airport.

The stops locations will be finalised in the detail design stage.

We expect all bus stops on the route to continue to be served by bus services.

The Sprint proposals include some changes to parking and loading. Changes to both parking and loading extents will be subject to a further consultation exercise as required and as part of the Traffic Regulation Orders (TRO) process.

Sheldon

Proposed parking removal on the approach and after Horse Shoes Lane

Heybarnes Circus 

Proposed parking removal to accommodate bus stop build out

 

There are several sections of the route where the central reserve will be converted to bus lane. This includes sections of the A45 Small Heath Highway between the Bordesley Circus and Heybarnes Circus. Please refer to the plans for further detail.

Sprint will get priority at some traffic lights on the route. The exact locations are yet to be confirmed.

Existing bus services, such as the X1 and X2, are managed by an independent operator therefore we cannot confirm at this stage what services will operate alongside Sprint.

We are committed to working with all operators to deliver an integrated transport system which will benefit bus passengers on these corridors. We also expect all bus services that operate on the Sprint route will benefit from improved journey reliability times due to the Sprint improvements. It is important to note that bus services on the route, including the X1 and X2, suffer from journey time variability; an issue which is expected to be exacerbated by growth at inward investment location, UK Central. Sprint aims to address this journey time variability while reducing the overall length of time it takes to travel between key areas. Connectivity will thereby be improved along this route, supporting the expected growth in Solihull, Birmingham city centre and UK Central, while linking local people to new jobs, homes, facilities, and other transport connections. We will also work with existing bus operators to optimise the services that use the route.

There will not be a Solihull Town Centre to Airport Sprint service in 2022, but the network includes the Hall Green to Solihull and Airport route due to be delivered in 2026.

We are working closely with Birmingham City Council and the Midland Metro Alliance (MMA) to develop additional public transport on Digbeth High Street. These proposals will also consider MMA’s future Birmingham Eastside Extension project. The interim proposals are likely to be confirmed in summer 2019.

Bus priority will be important in this location to ensure reliable bus journey times. We will be carrying out additional engagement with local residents to understand their concerns and will, where possible, amend the design to mitigate any issues. This will be undertaken in spring 2019. We will also revisit the design to consider how the impact on trees and green space can be minimised.

Sutton Coldfield to Birmingham City Centre via Langley (SBL)

Since our consultation report was issued in December, we have begun a review of the SBL Sprint scheme in a wider context, alongside additional information now available from the Langley and Peddimore developers, and in relation to existing bus service provision.

This review will consider alternative route options, while providing further analysis of the bus priority proposed by the Sprint scheme. This work will be completed in summer 2019.

To ensure immediate benefits for existing public transport users while we consider the outcome of the review, we will be developing the SBL scheme in two phases. The First Phase will provide bus priority for the benefit of existing bus services (with a view to eventually benefiting Sprint). This will deliver more predictable bus journey times and dependable timetables, encouraging more people to choose bus over car. The First Phase will be delivered along two stretches of the route: from Birmingham city centre to Pype Hayes Park, and from Falcon Lodge to Sutton Coldfield. This will be completed by 2022.

The Second Phase will deliver a Sprint service for a full route between Birmingham and Sutton Coldfield, and will be achieved through further bus priority measures. The full route will be available in line with increasing public transport demand from the Langley and Peddimore developments.

The First Phase of the scheme will be complete by 2022, with the aim of providing faster, more reliable services for existing bus users, as well as for the first occupants of the nearby Langley and Peddimore developments. These proposed sections of the route were met with a positive reaction during consultation, while prompting some specific comments on parking and access restrictions.

Changes will be made on:

• Lancaster Circus in central Birmingham to Ashford Drive/Eachelhurst Road, adjacent to Pype Hayes Park

• Churchill Road in Sutton Coldfield (Falcon Lodge) to Riland Road in Sutton Coldfield.

The bus priority improvements (such as bus lanes, bus gates, and parking restrictions) proposed in the public consultation will be made along these sections, and will benefit all existing bus services on the corridor, such as for Sutton Coldfield, Falcon Lodge, Walmley, Castle Vale, and Aston. Parking restrictions proposed in the consultation will be implemented as part of the First Phase, with some amendments to the design taking place in order to mitigate the loss of spaces.

 

 

 

The Second Phase concerns the route to and from the proposed Langley development. Any alterations to the proposed Sprint route will be subject to the recommendations of a wider review . This review will consider alternative routes and transport provision from Langley to Birmingham, such as the use of Kingsbury Road and the A47, commonly called ‘the spine road’. It will also consider routes from Sutton Coldfield to Langley and how to complement existing bus services. The construction of the Second Phase will be informed by the wider review, and will be linked to the levels of occupancy at the Langley and Peddimore developments.

The full route will be available in line with increasing public transport demand from the Langley and Peddimore developments.

 

 A review of bus stops will be undertaken as part of the next stage of design.

The following measures have been identified:

  • Carriageway widening to provide additional lanes/lane width
  • Changing general traffic lanes to bus lanes
  • Restrictions on parking (on-street) and loading;
  • Improvements to junctions including at-grade (existing street level) infrastructure changes, and priority for Sprint at traffic signals;
  • New or extended sections of bus lane (usable by Sprint and conventional buses);
  • New laybys to allow Sprint vehicles to easily overtake conventional buses;
  • Closure of some side-road junctions and/or restriction of turning movements.

Please refer to the plans for detail at specific locations. There are no instances where building demolition is required

There are sections on the Tyburn Road where converting the central reserve to a Sprint/bus lane is being considered. Please refer to the plans for details.

Sprint will get priority at the majority of traffic lights on the route. The exact locations are yet to be confirmed.

We will assess park and ride options that would benefit Sprint and other bus services, which will be supported by TfWM’s Park and Ride Strategy. The feasibility of park and ride will depend on a variety of factors, including: land availability; existing and proposed bus routes; patronage; and links to the highway network. This is likely to be confirmed in autumn 2019

Sprint will help achieve the objectives of the Supplementary Planning Document for the Langley Sustainable Urban Extension by promoting sustainable travel and public transport in the area.

During consultation, there were concerns that restricting southbound traffic on Riland Road may increase congestion on other local roads.

Following this feedback, the proposal to install a one-way system on Riland Road is under review by TfWM alongside Birmingham City Council and will not be delivered in the First Phase. The parking restrictions on Riland Road were generally supported and we will look to implement these as part of the First Phase. 

The proposal to introduce a bus lane at the Walmley Ash Road/Eachelhurst Road junction was challenged during consultation, with some expressing concerns about the loss of green space and impact on the junction signals, along with the suitability of Walmley Ash Road as a route. The possibility of widening the Eachelhurst Road bridge over the railway was suggested to improve traffic flow. 

Plans to build a bus lane from Walmley Ash Road to Eachelhurst Road have been postponed until the route in this area has been reviewed. If this work recommends that Sprint continues to travel along Walmley Ash Road, it is our aspiration to avoid removing green space and trees at the junction with Eachelhurst Road. The possibility and potential impact of widening the Eachelhurst Road bridge over the railway is under review by TfWM, alongside Birmingham City Council. This is likely to be confirmed in autumn 2019.

Hagley Road Advanced Works (A456)

Changes will be made to increase bus priority. They include:

Location: Wyndham Road

 Hagley Road eastbound (towards Five Ways):

  • A new 24 hour bus lane will be created, starting approximately 50m before the junction with Wyndham Road.
  • The outside lane becomes a dedicated right turn lane for Vicarage Road.

 Hagley Road westbound (away from Five Ways):

  • Existing bus stop is upgraded to a combined Sprint and bus stop.
  • Gap on central reserve closed.

 Location: Monument Road/Vicarage Road/Chad Road

 Hagley Road eastbound (towards Five Ways):

  • The left lane approaching Monument Road will be for buses and left turning traffic only.
  • The road is widened into the central reservation to create a dedicated right turn lane for Vicarage Road.
  • A new signal controlled junction incorporating improved pedestrian crossing for Hagley Road.
  • A bus stop is provided outside the shops. 

Hagley Road westbound (away from Five Ways):

  • A new section of 24 hour bus lane from Chad Road to Kenilworth Court.
  • Improved pedestrian crossing facilities will be provided across Chad Road and Vicarage Road.
  • Pedestrian refuges will be reduced in size to allow eastbound (towards Five Ways) traffic to turn right from Hagley Road into Vicarage Road.
  • The road is widened into the central reservation to extend the westbound (away from Five Ways) right hand turn lane into Monument Road.

 Location: Outside 100 Hagley Road

 Hagley Road eastbound (towards Five Ways):

  • Current bus stop to be removed
  • A new off peak loading bay will be provided outside shop number 153.
  • The road width will be revised to provide two consistent general traffic lanes to city.
  • Closure of U turn facility opposite 96-100 Hagley Road.

 Hagley Road westbound (away from Five Ways):

  • Revised road alignment to improve right hand turn lane into Monument Road.
  • New bus lane created by widening road into central reservation from Plough and Harrow Junction to Monument Road junction. There will be a bus lane plus two lanes for general traffic.

 Location: Plough and Harrow Road

Hagley Road eastbound (towards Five Ways):

  • The junction at Plough and Harrow road will be amended. This includes closure of gap opposite Highfield Road to prevent illegal right turns. There will be no access to Highfield Road from Plough and Harrow Road.
  • The central reservation is realigned so both lanes at Plough and Harrow junction are ahead only.
  • A new signal controlled pedestrian crossing of Hagley Road is provided (10m west of Plough and Harrow junction).

 Hagley Road westbound (away from Five Ways):

  • New bus lane created by widening road into central reservation from Plough and Harrow Junction to Monument Road junction.
  • New stop line, 20m west of Highfield Road, to increase junction capacity.
  • New section of bus lane 3m west of Highfield Road.

 Location: East of Highfield Road

 Hagley Road eastbound (towards Five Ways):

  • A consistent two lanes will be provided for all traffic.

 Hagley Road westbound (away from Five Ways):

  • A new bus lane will be created by widening the road from 38/40 Hagley Road to Highfield Road junction.

 Location: Outside 54 Hagley Road

 Hagley Road eastbound (towards Five Ways):

  • Relocation of existing bus stop to outside 97 to 107, upgraded for use by Sprint and buses.
  • Hagley Road westbound (away from Five Ways).
  • New bus lane from 38/40 Hagley Road to Highfield Road junction, created by narrowing the pavement and turning some of the grassed area into pavement.
  • A new Sprint and bus stop created at existing bus stop location. In the future this location will also be served by the Birmingham Westside Metro.

 Location: West of Francis Road

 Hagley Road westbound (away from Five Ways):

  • A new bus lane from 38/40 Hagley Road to Highfield Road junction, created by narrowing the pavement and turning some of the grassed area into pavement.

 At Francis Road, the new Metro terminus will be built as part of the Westside Metro extension

Like in all the world's great cities, Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) wants to create a fully integrated rail, bus and rapid transit network for the region. This will play a really important role in making sure that the West Midlands takes full advantage of the economic opportunities that HS2 brings. Advanced works for Hagley Road will deliver bus priority and road layout changes coordinated with West Midlands Metro Edgbaston Tram Extension ahead of a Sprint route being delivered on Hagley Road. This will mean existing services can benefit from improved reliability before the introduction of Sprint. 

There are not expected to be any changes to the stops served by existing bus services.

Parking is currently prohibited on the Hagley Road in the areas where this scheme will be introduced. There will be no changes to the parking restrictions as part of this scheme. 

Loading restrictions will be extended to 7:15am-9:45am and 4:30pm-6:45pm. 

 

The changes have been assessed using traffic models and this has influenced the proposed design.

Cyclists will be able to use the new bus lanes.

The A456 Hagley Road advanced works scheme is fully funded by the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership and West Midlands Combined Authority.

Utility works begin January 2019 with construction works scheduled June-December 2019.