Motorists in south Birmingham are being offered an alternative to busy traffic jams on the A38 Bristol Road with the new Longbridge multi-storey car park opening today (Monday 16 August).
Built next to Longbridge Railway Station, the £7.6 million multi-storey is one of Birmingham’s largest park and ride facilities.
It features more than 600 spaces, CCTV security cameras, electric vehicle charging points, lifts and a range of convenient ways to pay the £3 per day charge (£2 on weekends and bank holidays).
Construction finished during spring 2020 but with lockdown cutting demand for park and ride spaces, the multi-storey has remained under wraps ever since.
But with more people returning to work and more businesses, particularly in the hospitality and tourism sector, opening up following the lifting of Covid restrictions, the car park is now opening to the public.
The car park has been developed by Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), part of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), to give motorists an alternative to the busy A38 Bristol Road and an affordable alternative to driving into and parking in Birmingham city centre.
Commuters can also use the neighbouring railway station to take fast and frequent services on the Cross City Line to the University of Birmingham, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Sutton Coldfield town centre and Lichfield.
Cllr Ian Ward, the WMCA portfolio lead for transport and leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “This fantastic new car park offers motorists an affordable alternative to driving into and parking in Birmingham city centre or other key destinations like the university and hospital.
“The fact it is now able to open after a year is a sign that the regional economy is beginning to pick up and recover after being hard hit by the pandemic.
“TfWM is investing in park and ride at Longbridge to encourage more people to use public transport and help ease traffic congestion on the very busy A38, contribute to our efforts to cut carbon emissions, reduce pollution and improve our air quality.”
There will be a fee of £3 per day to use the car park. Motorists will be able to drive straight in and pay later with a range of easy options available – including cash, contactless or credit/debit card at a ticket machine, via the Swift transport smart card or alternatively pay online.
Longbridge and West Heath ward councillor Debbie Clancy said: “I welcome the new park and ride because this is about capacity and choice, and it now offers commuters the opportunity to safely park their vehicles in a modern and secure facility.
“The extra parking capacity will also be very useful as people return to work and means those travelling later in the day will be able to find a space.”
The development has been backed with £1.8 million funding from the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) and Midlands Engine and construction carried out by Bourne Parking.
Transport for West Midlands currently provides more than 9,000 park and ride spaces across the region. In February a new 196 space car park was opened at the Bradley Lane West Midlands Metro tram stop in Walsall.
The car park barrier has lifted just as people are being encouraged, through the Open for Business Safely campaign, to support those businesses who have been hit particularly hard by the pandemic.
Photo credit: Transport for West Midlands