National Express West Midlands has announced its intention to run new rapid transit bus services along the A34 and A45 Sprint route between Walsall, Birmingham and Solihull.
The new services will first launch in May 2022 with a fleet of zero-emission double decker Platinum buses, which will be able to beat traffic jams and offer reliable journey times by using dedicated bus lanes and priority measures at junctions along the routes which will cross Birmingham and join Walsall and Solihull for the first time.
This new fleet will include 20 environmentally friendly hydrogen-fuelled buses funded by Birmingham City Council.
The bus company is also working with Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) as the transport authority, to confirm plans to introduce the first of a further fleet of high quality zero emission, low floor tram-style vehicles on the route during 2023. These tram-style buses have proved popular with customers on similar rapid transit services across Europe and the UK.
Uninterrupted services will run from Walsall to Solihull, via Birmingham city centre.
First services will be operational by May 2022 and call at key destinations including the NEC, Jaguar Land Rover Solihull and Alexander Stadium.
Construction of the new bus lanes, junction upgrades and 75 high-quality shelters will take place in stages.
The Sprint corridor is set to be covered by an enhanced partnership scheme which sets minimum standards for all bus services operating along the route with facilities such as hearing loops, wheelchair spaces, USB charging and free wifi access.
‘Freed from traffic jams and congestion, Sprint will offer new and existing bus users faster, more reliable, and uninterrupted services, as well as a more comfortable journey thanks to our partnership with National Express delivering new high quality, zero-emission, buses,’ said West Midlands mayor, Andy Street.
‘The humble bus is the most used form of public transport in the West Midlands and our plans for Sprint demonstrate our commitment to investing in and supporting improvements in both bus infrastructure and services for passengers, as well as tackling the climate emergency we are facing.’
Photo Credit – Supplied by Transport for West Midlands