Birmingham 2022: plans for road closures and parking bans approved by government

A strategic level plan detailing transport plans for the Commonwealth Games this summer has been published

A transport plan for the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham has been approved by the government.

Transport bosses have drawn up the plans which will see a number of road diversions and parking bans in place to accommodate the event, which takes place later this year.

The government says the plans have been put in place to ensure the Games provides safe, efficient and reliable transport, as well as to cause minimal traffic disruption during the competition.

The Commonwealth Games Festival is due to take place from March with the Games commencing on July 28 until 8 August.

The roads and routes affected are yet to be announced, but a spokesman for the West Midlands Combined Authority confirmed that more detailed transport arrangements and travel plans for each venue will be shared during the spring.

The launch of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games official Countdown Clock on March 09, 2020 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Miles Willis/Getty Images for Birmingham 2022)

What does the strategic plan say?

The plans reveal that there will be road restrictions and diversion routes in place, as well as bus route changes.

Specific bus, tram and train services will be in place in the West Midlands region, with travel to venues free for spectators with tickets.

Park and Ride facilities will also be set up and additional free shuttle buses will be laid on to ferry spectators and participants to venues to help meet the anticipated surge in demand.

People will also be encouraged to use special routes set out for cycling and walking for shorter journeys – many of which will remain in place after the Games as part of the ‘Transport Legacy’.

Temporary traffic measures:

A range of temporary traffic management measures will also be implemented on the ‘Games Route Network’ (GRN) to help provide reliable journey times for the ‘Games Family’ - those directly involved in the competition, including athletes and organisers.

The GRN is a network of roads in Birmingham and the wider county which will be managed in the run up to, and during the competition to accommodate Games time traffic.

It will operate from 22 July to 10 August 2022 and will be made up of routes that link the competition’s major venues.

Before implementing any measures, consideration will be given to local business, freight deliveries and resident access requirements.

Potential temporary traffic measures for the Games, include:

  • Changes to intersections such as banned or restricted turns
  • Road restrictions
  • Diversion routes
  • Suspension or relocation of bus stops
  • Event-specific signage and messaging
  • Traffic signal improvements and extensions
  • Extensions to bus lane operational periods
  • Traffic signs and line markings
  • Kerbside waiting and loading restrictions
  • Parking restrictions and changes to local access around venues

What’s been said about the plans?

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps during a visit to Leeds in January 2020.

Grant Shapps, Secretary of State for Transport, said: “With an estimated global television audience of 1.5 billion people, the Games will showcase Birmingham, the West Midlands and the entire country as an amazing place to live, work, study, visit and do business.

“We know that putting in place effective transport provision is a crucial part of any major sporting event and requires detailed planning and coordination. A well understood and supported Transport Plan is therefore essential.

“I am pleased to inform the House that the West Midlands Combined Authority Board has approved the final Games Transport Plan.

“It sets out a strategic approach to planning and coordination of transport to support the Games; covering the transportation of spectators, athletes and the Games Family, whilst at the same time ensuring that any disruption to transport users and residents is kept to a minimum.”

Transport Legacy

The Transport Legacy will include a range of improvements that will take place across the transport system to manage demand, pollution and operation of transport in the county during the Games time and after.

Several key transport schemes are being delivered in time for the Games, these include:

  • Cycling improvements: new segregated cycleways along key routes and canals and the introduction of a bike share scheme to reduce existing barriers to active travel.
  • A Metro extension and rail station redevelopments at University, Perry Barr and Coventry rail stations.
  • The infrastructure works for the Sprint corridor to support the new bus routes and improve connectivity to key venues such as the Alexander Stadium and the NEC.
  • Road improvement schemes to enhance the transport experience for pedestrians, cyclists and public transport users.
Global stars Laura Muir and Kadeena Cox visit Alexander Stadium to confirm that they want to be part of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games

What are the venues being used for the Games?

The venues for the Games will be based in Birmingham, Coventry, Royal Leamington Spa, Sandwell, Warwick, Wolverhampton and outside of the Midlands, Lee Valley VelloPArk in London - see the full list below.

  • ALEXANDER STADIUM - Athletics and Para Athletics
  • ARENA BIRMINGHAM - Artistic and Rhythmic Gymnastics
  • CANNOCK CHASE FOREST - Mountain Biking
  • COVENTRY STADIUM & ARENA - Rugby Sevens, Judo and Wrestling
  • LEE VALLEY VELOPARK - Cycling (Track)
  • THE NEC - Badminton, Boxing, Table Tennis and Para Table Tennis, Weightlifting, Netball and Para Powerlifting
  • SANDWELL AQUATICS CENTRE - Diving, Swimming and Para Swimming
  • SMITHFIELD - Basketball 3x3, Beach Volleyball, Wheelchair Basketball 3x3
  • ST NICHOLAS PARK - Cycling (Road Race)
  • SUTTON PARK - Triathlon and Para Triathlon
  • VICTORIA PARK - Lawn Bowls and Para Lawn Bowls
  • VICTORIA SQUARE - Marathon
  • WEST PARK - Cycling (Road Race)

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