Further transport plans have been unveiled for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games this month (July), including free cycle hire for residents and ticket holders as more than 200 roads will be closed or be affected by traffic diversions and parking restrictions.
One million people are set to visit Birmingham for the Games which get underway on July 28 and run until 8 August - and transport bosses have released the final plans for residents, visitors and ticket holders.
More than 200 roads will be affected by closures, diversions and parking management plans to accommodate the event. This includes 42 roads surrounding the Alexander Stadium in Perry Barr, 53 roads around Arena Birmingham in the city centre and 31 roads around the University of Birmingham in Edgbaston. Details were revealed in March and you can see the full list of road closures and diversions in our story here
Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) is bringing 100 more buses to the region to help ease congestion during the sporting spectacle. Transport boses have also pledged to get the trams running to Edgbaston ahead of the Games - a boost for passengers following the suspension of services three times in recent months.
TfWM bosses say ticket holders will have access to free public transport services and will be contacted in advance if there are problems.
The final Commonwealth Games transport plans were released on Friday (July 1) and include extra public transport services and free spectator shuttle buses along with free half-hour rides with West Midlands Cycle Hire (WMCH).
The Birmingham 2022 transport plan includes:
- Parking restrictions and road or lane closures around venues to keep roads clear for local residents
- 100 more buses coming from around the country.
- The Regional Transport Coordination Centre (RTCC) running throughout to manage the network and keep the public updated
- Upgraded Perry Barr and University railway stations offering greater capacity for spectators attending Alexander Stadium and University of Birmingham venues – while leaving a lasting legacy for local rail commuters
- New Sprint bus priority measures on the A34 and A45 linking Alexander Stadium, Birmingham city centre and the NEC venues allowing buses to bypass traffic jams and improve reliability of service
- Dedicated Get Set website and online journey planner for spectators and locals to ensure they are kept up to date on transport services
- Birmingham 2022 visitors have local bus, rail and tram travel included with their event tickets
- 19 park and ride, or park and walk, venues offering 60,000 free spaces and shuttle bus links to venues
- Spectator shuttle bus services from Birmingham city centre to the Alexander Stadium and from the Hawthorns Transport Hub to Sandwell Aquatics Centre and from Coventry city centre to the Coventry Stadium & Arena
- Secure cycle parking at every venue with more than 25,000 cycle parking spaces across 13 venues
Cycle hire scheme
Transport for West Midlands has also annouced that the West Midlands Cycle Hire (WMCH) is offering everyone in the region two free half-hour rides per day during Birmingham 2022.
Under the new cycle hire offer, available across the West Midlands from 27th July to 8th August, anyone over 16 who signs up for WMCH via the Beryl app will be able to ride a bike or eBike for 30 minutes twice a day free of charge – whether or not they are attending a Birmingham 2022 venue. WMCH has 1,500 bikes for hire across the region, including 150 eBikes and more than 200 docking stations.
Pop-up and virtual cycle hire docking stations are also being set up near five key venues across the West Midlands; Alexander Stadium (athletics, Para athletics and Opening and Closing Ceremonies), Smithfield (3x3 basketball, 3x3 wheelchair basketball and beach volleyball), Sandwell Aquatics Centre (swimming, Para swimming and diving), Arena Birmingham (gymnastics and rhythmic gymnastics) and Coventry Arena and Stadium (judo, wrestling and rugby sevens).
What’s been said about the plans?
Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “The eyes of the world will be on us this summer when we play host to what is undoubtedly the biggest and highest profile event ever to grace our region. It is therefore imperative that we have the transport provision to match the scale of the Games, enabling our visitors to enjoy eleven days of thrilling sporting spectacle and make the most of their leisure time in the West Midlands.
“That’s why I’m so pleased that not only will spectators have the cost of public transport included as part of their tickets, but also every resident will have the chance to use our cycle-hire scheme free of charge. Cycling is a fantastic way to see our glorious region, whilst also improving mental and physical health and helping us tackle the climate emergency.”
Cllr Liz Clements, cabinet member for transport at Birmingham City Council, said: “The Games are not just about 11 fantastic days of sport, but about the legacy they leave. Free use of the hire bikes will help everyone get around the city and region during the Games and builds on what the city council is already doing to encourage active travel.
“This fantastic offer keeps up the momentum of Birmingham’s Cycle Revolution, through which we have been investing in cycle infrastructure across the city, including segregated cycle lanes, canal towpaths and green routes as well as local links, and I hope it’ll persuade people to make a permanent switch to cycling.”
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