New transport system will be sprinting for success at Commonwealth Games

Top athletes are not the only ones aiming to be in peak condition for the 2022 Commonwealth Games as the region’s transport system is also looking to be fast out the blocks. 

Details have been unveiled of a new type of transport called 'Sprint' which will use tram-style vehicles to provide fast, reliable journeys along some of the region’s busiest roads. 

Sprint, which runs on road-going wheels rather than tracks, will have seven routes by 2026 - but three of those are now being accelerated so they are in place for the Games.

Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street and Cllr Ian Ward, leader of Birmingham City Council, were joined by Great Britain sprinters Kaie Chambers-Brown (U20) and Cassie-Anne Pemberton (U18) in urging people to have their say and take part in a public consultation on the Sprint plans. The Mayor said:

“Sprint will work in tandem with the new suburban rail lines and Metro tram routes we are building, creating a transport network that can grow our economy, give people cleaner air and squeeze the maximum benefit possible from HS2. 

“But Sprint can also help make the Games a success which is why we are accelerating three of the routes. I would urge people to have their say on these plans and help showcase our region to the world and shape our future transport system.” 

Sprint is being developed by Transport for West Midlands in partnership with local councils including Birmingham, Sandwell, Solihull and Walsall. The authorities have now drawn up detailed proposals for the three priority routes, all of which originate in Birmingham City Centre along the Moor Street bus corridor. They will continue to Birmingham Airport and Solihull along the A45, Sandwell and Walsall along the A34 and Sutton Coldfield via Langley. Cllr Ward, who is also WMCA portfolio holder for economic growth, said:

“The arrival of Sprint will undoubtedly act as a catalyst for regeneration and inclusive growth in the West Midlands, offering improved access to jobs and opportunities including those provided by HS2, Birmingham’s Big City Plan, and other major employers in the region. 

"Sprint will offer an attractive, viable alternative for car drivers and, as we continue to tackle the pressing issue of air pollution, this exciting project will help to significantly reduce the number of cars on our roads, improving air quality in our region." 

Sprint, which will also deliver a route heading into the heart of the Black Country, via Hagley Road, by 2026, will offer passengers a level of service and comfort similar to a tram. This includes off-board ticketing, multiple-door boarding, wheelchair and pushchair access, free wifi, air conditioning and on-board audio visual announcements and travel information. It will provide fast and dependable journey times using limited stops – around 500m apart – using its own dedicated lane through areas of high congestion. It will also get automatic priority at busy junctions. 

Details of the plans, which would require some changes to road lanes, junctions, roadside parking and access, will also be available at five public events: 

  • Saturday 1st September 1 - 9am-3pm - The Parade, Sutton Coldfield (Birmingham to Sutton via Langley route) 
  • Thursday 6th September - 1pm-7pm - Scott Arms, Sandwell (A34 route)   
  • Saturday 15th September - 9am-3pm - Mell Square, Solihull (A45 route)
  • Wednesday 19th September - 2pm-7pm - Park Street, Walsall (A34 route)
  • Saturday 22nd September - 9am-3pm - High Street, Birmingham (All routes and Hagley Road advanced works) 

The consultation runs until September 28th and people can take part by visiting


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