Birmingham’s public transport is set to change over the next 25 years with the introduction of electric busses and oyster-style cards in an integrated system with an aim to encourage more people to use public transport around the city.

News Editor: March 2013 - April 2014
Published
Images by Matthew Jenkins

The outlook for Birmingham’s public transport is set to change over the next 25 years with the introduction of electric busses and oyster-style cards in an integrated system with an aim to encourage more people to use public transport around the city.

The plan consists of a network of busses running in and around the city, which will hopefully prevent the city coming to a gridlock due to the expected growth in population and car ownership.

'there will be an increase of 80,000 cars on Birmingham’s roads by 2031'

The current road layouts and transport systems will not be able to hold the estimated capacity as planners estimate that there will be an increase of 80,000 cars on Birmingham’s roads by 2031.

 Sir Albert Bore, Birmingham City Council Leader, has outlined the 25-year plan which is set to include a 200 mile network of 11 Sprint-rapid transit lines and a hybrid bus and tram service.

The new Mobility Action Plan will help make the city easier to navigate through the introduction of a tube-style map giving Birmingham a user friendly, integrated transport system – similar to that of London’s tube map system.

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Planners are conscious that extending the tram lines will be too costly as there is already a £125 million plan in place to extend the Midland Metro. H

owever, the Sprint-rapid bus system will be a more affordable alternative as new technology is being developed for busses to run at

a fraction of the cost on electricity rather than diesel. Systems are already in place in Genoa and Turin, cutting fuel costs by 80 per

The plans extend to encourage more walking and cycling around the city by making it easier and safer for people not to use their cars. Development will also include extending bus lanes, interchanges on the outskirts of the city and improving public transport waiting areas.cent. There is also the ability to extend these routes when more money becomes available.

An oyster card type charging system will be brought in, charging people to get from one place to another, rather than charging per bus or train in an attempt to make using public transport easier and more affordable.

Despite the plans being more affordable however, the 11 sprint lines will cost between £1 and £3 billion to build.

Sir Albert states that the city needs these plans to move forward as ‘we are lagging behind many UK and European cities in its thinking.’

The consultation document is currently being put together and will need to be approved by businesses and residents of Birmingham. Funding programmes will then need to be put in place to make the scheme affordable over the coming years.

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