Four new Birmingham bus routes planned - crossing through the city centre - here’s where

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Bus operators will be invited to run new routes through Birmingham crossing the city centre - here’s where the new routes are planned to run to and from

Four new bus routes are being planned for Birmingham crossing through the city centre from locations across the east, west, north and south of the city following the award of £70 million funding.

The money is being allocated from the £1.05bn City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement (CRSTS) awarded by the Department for Transport to the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) last year.

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The new routes - including new bus lanes, amendments to junctions, traffic signals, parking and bus stops - will potentially save passengers time changing buses, according to TfWM. The new design is expected to allow buses to bypass traffic jams and provide more regular and predictable journey times, with enhanced shelters and information.

Buses are the most popular method of transport in Birmingham and several bus companies including National Express, Diamond Buses, Stagecoach, and Kev’s Coaches run services in the city - with NXWM running most routes. Operators will be invited to run new cross-city services making it easier for passengers to the city centre and key locations beyond it. The routes are also part of the region’s Bus Service Improvement Plan.

The WMCA’s Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) is working with Birmingham City Council and other council partners on the plans which are to be developed and delivered over the next three years. The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) has other initiatives as well, including introducing further zero-emission buses contributing towards the region’s plan to become carbon-neutral within the next two decades.

Drone shot of bus route improvements at Heybarnes Circus island, in Small Heath (Photo - WMCA)Drone shot of bus route improvements at Heybarnes Circus island, in Small Heath (Photo - WMCA)
Drone shot of bus route improvements at Heybarnes Circus island, in Small Heath (Photo - WMCA) | WMCA

Where are the new Birmingham and West Midlands bus routes going to run to and from?

The new cross city bus routes plan follows the ongoing development of bus priority upgrades on corridors between Druids Heath and Dudley and Walsall and Solihull both via Birmingham City Centre.

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Detailed plans for the routes are being developed with council partners and will be subject to public engagement/consultation/planning process in due course so the residents of the city can have their say as well. The four new bus route destinations are listed below:

  • Longbridge and Hamstead via A441 (Pershore Road) and B4124 - it would pass through Perry Barr, Harborne, Stirchley and Bournville among other stops.
  • Longbridge and Castle Vale via the A38 (Bristol Rd & Tyburn Rd) - it would pass through the neighbourhoods of Rubery, Selly Oak, Bournville, and Edgbaston among other stops.
  • West Bromwich and Chelmsley Wood via A41 Soho Road and B4128 (Bordesley Green & The Meadway) - It would pass through Bordesley Green, Heartlands Hospital, Handsworth and Soho among other stops.
  • Bartley Green and Chelmsley Wood via B4124 (Harborne Road) and B4114 (Washwood Heath Road) - It would pass through Harborne, Stechford, Woodgate and Aston along with other stops.

Proposed Cross City bus routes: map courtesy of TfWMProposed Cross City bus routes: map courtesy of TfWM
Proposed Cross City bus routes: map courtesy of TfWM | Proposed Cross City bus routes: map courtesy of TfWM

What Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street said

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, and chair of the WMCA said: “These cross-city bus routes will better connect local people right across our region - cutting journey times for passengers, improving the public transport customer experience and demonstrating what the future of urban mobility can look like.

“Thanks to the £70 million funding award we recently secured, we can further enhance services here in the West Midlands - with a particular focus on reliability so that we can make daily commutes faster and more dependable.

“Whether residents are on the move for work or play, we’re making the bus a more attractive option for all in the months and years ahead.”

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What West Midlands Combined Authority said

Cllr Mike Bird, portfolio holder for transport, said, “Bus is the most popular form of transport in the region, accounting for more than 260 million journeys a year, and we are looking to make it even more attractive and encourage people to leave their cars at home.

“The future prosperity of our region will rely to a great extent on efficient public transport. We need to ensure that our communities have seamless access to opportunities and a smoother daily commute. This investment in additional routes across Birmingham is a positive step in the right direction and I welcome it.”

What Birmingham City Council said

Cllr Liz Clements, cabinet member for transport, said: “Buses are Birmingham’s mass transit network and they need priority on our roads, so I am delighted funding has been awarded for these four new cross-city bus routes. As a city we have been far too reliant on private cars for far too long and we need to fundamentally change the way we move people around Birmingham.

“We have set out in our transport plan how we want Birmingham to be a place to live and be, not drive and park, with people making better use of public transport, walking and cycling. In changing our priorities, we can achieve a change in attitude and behaviour to have a cleaner, greener and healthier city.”

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