A blueprint which sets out how the region’s transport network will be managed during the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games is to be considered by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) board, when it meets Friday, September 13.
The draft plan sets out which transport projects will be delivered in time for the Games including improvements to Coventry, University and Perry Barr rail stations extending the West Midlands Metro to Edgbaston and the first phase of three new Sprint rapid bus routes.
More than 12,000 athletes, officials and media will join 41,000 staff, volunteers and contractors and over 1 million ticketed spectators so extra services will be needed to keep the city moving during the 11 days of competition.
The plan outlines how extra capacity will be built into the network and how public transport will be strengthened to keep the region moving, making sure residents, businesses and visitors can continue to travel around the West Midlands.
Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “We are determined to make the Commonwealth Games the best we can which is why I am asking the Board to approve this draft plan for the Games.
“Visitor experience is absolutely paramount to the success of the Games and part of that is to make sure there are frequent and reliable transport options for both athletes and spectators in the West Midlands.
“But making improvements to transport is not just about those few weeks when the Games are on – it is also about providing a lasting legacy for local people who will benefit for years to come.”
The draft transport plan also explains how a Regional Transport Coordination Centre (RTCC) will monitor the entire transport network and roads during the Games.
Anticipated to open in 2019 to support the construction of HS2 and other major transport projects, it will be in operation throughout the Games.
The RTCC will provide support to transport operators and communicate any changes to the network helping people to plan their journeys.
If the draft plan is approved, 12 weeks of engagement will begin launched by Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), the transport arm of the WMCA in partnership with Birmingham City Council (BCC) and the region’s metropolitan local authorities and Birmingham 2022.
Leader of Birmingham City Council and WMCA Transport Portfolio Holder, Ian Ward said: “Planning an event of this scale takes many years, so it’s important we get views on our plans from the beginning, to make sure we get it right for everyone.
“Our aim to make sure every athlete and spectator arrives at each of the venues in plenty of time and everyone who needs to travel around the West Midlands can.
“The Games will be a wonderful celebration of the West Midlands, and we want to make sure transport enables everyone to enjoy the Games”
Ian Reid, Chief Executive of Birmingham 2022 added: “The draft Games Strategic Transport Plan is an important document for Birmingham 2022, for the partners we are working closely with and for residents of the host city and region.
“It not only sets out how we will work with our partners to ensure that key groups such as athletes, spectators, officials and media will get to each venue on time but it also demonstrates our focus on minimising the impact that the Games will have on local people and businesses across the host city and region during that short period in July and August 2022.
“I’d encourage people from across the West Midlands to take a look at the plan and provide their feedback on our suggested approach.
“That way we can make sure that their views are taken on board when the detailed planning work for Games time transport begins.”
Key infrastructure improvements to be ready for 2022 and leaving a lasting transport legacy include:
- A34 and A38 cycle highways
- Metro Westside extension along Broad Street to Edgbaston Five Ways
- New transport hub, including bus and rail stations at Perry Barr
- University, Coventry, Wolverhampton, rail station rebuilds and upgrades
- The first phase of three Sprint rapid bus routes from Birmingham City Centre along A34 to Alexander Stadium, along A45 to the NEC and through Aston, to Pype Hayes
Photo credit: WMCA