Construction work on new bus priority measures along the A34 in north Birmingham is due to start later this month.
The works will see bus lanes extended, junctions upgraded and new shelters installed between Birmingham City Centre and the Scott Arms junction in Great Barr. This will form part of the wider Sprint bus route linking the A34 with the A45 to create one continuous route from Walsall town centre to Solihull town centre and Birmingham Airport via Birmingham City Centre.
The measures will benefit all buses using these routes and are designed to allow buses to bypass traffic congestion and as a result improve reliability of bus services and cut journey times.
Works on the A34 are due to begin on Monday, April 19:
· Scott Arms Junction to Tame Valley Canal
· A new inbound bus lane is being introduced between Booths Farms Road and Beeches Road. Outbound, a new bus lane will be introduced between Tame Valley Canal and Beeches Road, and an extended bus lane will be introduced between Booths Farm Road and the Scott Arms junction. There will also be an extended right turn at Scott Arms. Ten enhanced bus shelters will be installed with some shelters relocated.
· Tame Valley Canal to Perry Barr Station
· A new inbound peak time bus lane is being introduced from Church Road to Aldridge Road. Outbound, the existing bus lane is being extended between the Tennis Court bus stop and Rocky Lane. Eight enhanced bus shelters will be installed with some shelters relocated.
· Perry Barr Station to Birmingham city centre
A new offside bus lane is being introduced on the approach to Six Ways Island and a new bus lane inbound from Pritchett Street to Coleshill Street. Six stops will be upgraded with some shelters relocated.
The works will require lane closures in each direction for up to six months. National Express West Midlands is operating extra buses on routes in the area to minimise disruption to customers.
Anne Shaw, director of Network Resilience at TfWM, said: “Improving our public transport infrastructure to make bus journeys more reliable is part of our plans to encourage more people on to public transport and help remove some traffic from our roads.
“Whilst these works could cause some delays to commuters, especially at peak times they will help improve journeys when completed.
“We will be keeping residents and businesses informed of works near their properties and ensuring disruption is kept to a minimum through monitoring from the Regional Transport Coordination Centre and working with our local authority partners and bus operators. We apologise in advance for any inconvenience.”
A fleet of environmentally-friendly zero-emission buses run by National Express West Midlands will operate on the Sprint route offering direct services between Walsall, Birmingham and Solihull from May next year. These include 20 new hydrogen-fuelled buses funded by Birmingham City Council.