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28th January 2009.

Department for Transport (National).

Solihull drives change with £11m transport scheme.

An £11m scheme to improve public transport between Solihull, Birmingham International Airport (BIA) and the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) was announced today by Transport Minister Paul Clark.

The scheme includes enhanced bus services and improved facilities for passengers to reduce journey times and cut congestion in the area.

Paul Clark said:

“This funding will mean better public transport for people living and working in Solihull and east Birmingham, as well as those using the airport or visiting the NEC, with improved bus routes and more regular services.”

“Better facilities encourage people to use public transport rather than their cars, and this in turn can reduce congestion on local roads and cut harmful CO2 emissions. I urge as many people as possible to take advantage of these new transport links.”

New measures announced include a new interchange at Birmingham International station improving links between trains and buses so that passengers have easier access to the town centre, airport and NEC. This will help to connect areas in and around Solihull, making changing smoother and quicker, so that more people use public transport reducing the number of cars on the road in the area.

Other parts of the scheme include:

Real time information boards are also being introduced so that bus passengers can plan their journeys more effectively as the screens will show when a bus is due as well as its destination. This means that people arriving at Birmingham airport will be able to work out how long their journey will take.

Travelling around the NEC will also become easier during major events for both visitors and local people. All vehicles will now be able to use bus lanes on a temporary basis when major events at the NEC are causing significant congestion on local roads. This will cut the travel time of those trying to get home after an event as well as commuters and shoppers travelling in and around Solihull.

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