Plans to make bus journeys more reliable in Solihull to be revealed

Detailed designs for new bus lanes, shelters and junction upgrades on the busy Hobs Moat Road/Lode Lane commuter route in Solihull are being unveiled.

The new infrastructure will allow buses to bypass traffic queues between Solihull town centre and the A45 Coventry Road making journeys more reliable, regular and predictable for passengers.

It is part of the continuous Sprint rapid bus route being developed by Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) along the A45 and A34, linking Solihull and Walsall town centres via Birmingham city centre.

The improvements will pave the way for the first cross-city bus service in the region and provide the infrastructure for zero-emission, articulated buses to be running along the route in 2025.

The first phase of Sprint was delivered in 2022 which saw new bus shelters and bus lanes introduced along the A34 and A45 in Birmingham and, according to a customer survey, 82% of passengers have noticed improvements in journey times on the A34.

The second phase will see the improvements delivered along the remainder of the route in both Walsall and Solihull, with construction work due to start later this year.

Residents and businesses in Solihull are now invited to attend one of two drop-in events to find

TfWM, which is part of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), is developing the route with the £56 million funding for phase 2 from the City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement.

Sprint offers a reliable and affordable public transport alternative to the car on busy commuter routes. With a commitment to run zero-emission buses on the route, it is designed to contribute towards the #wm2041 target for the region to be carbon neutral within two decades.

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands and WMCA Chair, said: “The Sprint bus priority improvements are already benefitting passengers on the A34 and A45 in Birmingham – with more reliable services and faster journey times.

“Sprint is designed to cut through traffic congestion and make it easier for people to leave their cars at home when travelling to and from our town and city centres. Once complete, it will support some 20 million journeys a year on bus routes right across Walsall, Birmingham and Solihull.

“For residents and businesses in Solihull who wish to find out more, I would encourage them to attend one of our drop-in events.”

Cllr Ken Hawkins, Solihull Council portfolio holder for environment & infrastructure said: “This latest phase will build on work already undertaken to upgrade and expand the current bus priority measures between Solihull town centre and A45 Coventry Road, improving reliability and cutting journey times for passengers.

“The upcoming drop-in sessions, taking place along the Lode Lane / Hobs Moat Road section of the route, are a great opportunity to speak to the team at TfWM, find out more and ask any questions you might have.”

Interventions planned for the Solihull section include a new bus lane northbound on Hobs Moat Road, the widening of Lode Lane at the JLR entrance as well as a southbound bus lane and a bus only gate in Solihull town centre.

Also under development is a further network of cross-city bus routes which will bring the benefits of improved reliability to even more parts of the region.

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