How and when sprint bus service will be arriving in Solihull
Transport chiefs have said they still plan to bring a sprint bus service to both the airport and Solihull town centre, although the project will now be delivered in phases.
The tram-style transport link with Birmingham city centre will travel down the A45 and it was always intended to have the route branch at The Wheatsheaf.
Some buses would continue on down the Coventry Road to BirminghamAirport, while others would head into Solihull via Lode Lane.
Although recent changes to the timetable, arising from the added complexity of the Lode Lane leg of the journey, are said to have caused some confusion.
Cllr Glenis Slater (Lib Dem, Elmdon), whose ward will be among those affected, had raised the issue at a recent meeting.
She said she would “like some clarification” on the revised timetable.
Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), which is taking the lead on the project, reiterated that the A45 route would now be delivered in two stages.
A spokesman said: “We will deliver the section from Birmingham city centre to Birmingham Airport in phase one by the end of 2021 and undertake further assessment of the extension to Solihull town centre.
“We remain on track to deliver sprint on the A45 by the end of 2021. This is our top priority because it will be an essential transport connection for the 2022 Commonwealth Games.”
The new sprint services will stop less often than regular buses and make use of dedicated lanes to beat congestion. Buses will also have priority at key junctions.
Cllr Ted Richards, cabinet member for growth and infrastructure delivery, has likened the design – with more doors than a traditional bus – to the West Midlands Metro vehicles.
While the Solihull stretch has been less controversial than proposals in other parts of the region, there have nonetheless been some concerns about the loss of trees and planned changes to the road layout.
Council officers have said the design of the network would prioritise “speed and reliability” and the highways team has been in close discussions with TfWM.
Solihull is pressing for the single-decker vehicles to be “clean-running” in order to help meet air quality targets.
Read more: https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/exactly-how-sprint-bus-service-16669453