Pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion re­veals wor­ries over some lines

Birmingham Post - - NEWS -

Plans for three new ‘sprint’ bus routes in Birm­ing­ham will be re­assessed af­ter pub­lic fears over some of them.

The project will see sprint buses op­er­ate be­tween Birm­ing­ham city cen­tre and Wal­sall, Sut­ton Cold­field via the new neigh­bour­hoods at Lan­g­ley and Ped­di­more and the A45 to Soli­hull and Birm­ing­ham Air­port.

Trans­port for West Mid­lands re­ceived re­sponses from more than 1,500 peo­ple in its re­cent con­sul­ta­tion in­clud­ing from res­i­dents liv­ing near the pro­posed routes, busi­nesses and reg­u­lar com­muters.

Around 75 per cent of those who re­sponded ei­ther par­tially or wholly sup­ported the in­tro­duc­tion of buses, it said, but con­cerns were raised con­cerns over is­sues such as loss of park­ing, con­ges­tion at pinch points and the need for cy­cling in­fra­struc­ture along­side the routes.

Trans­port chiefs said these would now be taken into con­sid­er­a­tion as the de­signs were de­vel­oped over the com­ing months with a fur­ther re­sponse is­sued in the spring.

Sprint buses are mod­elled on trams and op­er­ate on ded­i­cated lanes with pri­or­ity through junc­tions. They have low floors and are high ca­pac­ity with mul­ti­ple doors, al­low­ing more peo­ple to board and alight si­mul­ta­ne­ously which should im­prove jour­ney times.

The three routes were orig­i­nally in­tended to be in­tro­duced by 2026 as part of the HS2 con­nec­tiv­ity pro­gramme but have been brought for­ward to be ready for the 2022 Com­mon­wealth Games.

A con­sul­ta­tion was also held over the de­vel­op­ment of a sprint route along Ha­gley Road, the find­ings of which will be re­leased in due course. This is one of four fur­ther sprint routes be­ing planned for in­tro­duc­tion by 2026.

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