Birmingham 2022 gets transport boost with new bus interchange

Date posted: August 26, 2021
A sketch of perry bar bus station

The on-going regeneration of Perry Barr ahead of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games has taken another step forward with the approval of plans for a new bus interchange.

The scheme is part of the overall £30.9m transport interchange development which includes the neighbouring Perry Barr railway station which is also undergoing a major redevelopment and will be the principle station for Alexander Stadium – the focal point of next summer’s games.

Plans for the new bus interchange, which have been drawn up by Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) with support from Birmingham City Council will see an overhaul of how services pick up and drop off passengers.

It will also feature an improved frontage to the One Stop Shopping Centre with an expanded, pedestrianised public space.

The project is backed with funding from the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) and Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG).

The scheme, which has now been given planning approval by Birmingham City Council, has been developed by TfWM, which is part of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), to integrate with the new rail station and offer quick and easy transfers between bus and train while leaving a lasting transport legacy for the area.

As well as serving conventional bus services with new and improved shelters, it will also be used by the forthcoming Sprint rapid transit system which will offer local people, as well as visitors to the Games, a reliable, frequent and zero-emission travel option.

Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands and chair of the WMCA, said:

With up to one million spectators expected over the 12 days of the Games, it is vital that our public transport network offers easy, safe, and reliable services. This new Perry Barr bus interchange, alongside the new station, will help us do that.

Not only will the Games help to show the leading role the West Midlands is playing in public transport investment to tackle climate change, but the transport infrastructure investments we’re making – such as this new interchange – will help leave a legacy of improved transport for future generations.

The existing bus interchange is considered dated and inefficient with passengers having to cross traffic lanes to get to services and other local amenities.

Tim Pile, Chair of Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership, added:

Our £1.6 million investment into the new Perry Barr bus interchange builds upon our £20 million investment into the fantastic new Alexander Stadium. The ambition is to give visitors the best experience of coming to this part of the city. Crucially, all these projects will leave a lasting legacy, ensuring that local people and businesses continue to benefit for years to come.

The old Perry Barr rail station next door was regarded as one of the most unattractive in the region.

Work is already underway on replacing it with a new, fully accessible, fit-for-purpose station including ticket office, toilets and baby change facilities, lifts and new stairs to the platforms.

Both the new station and the bus interchange are seen as critical for the Commonwealth Games because of their close proximity to Alexander Stadium which will host the opening and closing ceremonies as well as the athletics events.

The 12-day sporting festival, which runs between 28 July and 8 August, is expected to attract up to one million visitors and hopes to be the greenest Games ever.

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