What is Sprint?
Sprint is a key element of delivering an integrated, environmentally friendly transport network for the West Midlands.
It has been designed to support our region's economic growth and expanding population, and will actively combat congestion by offering reliable, connected, and sustainable public transport.
There are three elements to the Sprint project: the corridor, the shelters and the vehicle:
The Sprint Corridor
Bus priority corridors are essentially an extended stretch of road, designed to put bus passengers first. They include a number of measures brought together to facilitate bus travel. In the case of Sprint, these are extended bus lanes and priority signalling.
This means quicker journey times and greater reliability for all buses – without vehicles going faster.
The Sprint Shelters
Over 95 enhanced bus shelters designed specifically to improve both the comfort and safety of bus users will also be introduced along the corridor – granting easy access to vehicles, reducing bus stopping times and allowing for more reliable onward travel.
The Sprint Vehicle
The services will first launch in May 2022 with a fleet of zero-emission double decker Platinum buses. This will include 20 environmentally friendly hydrogen-fuelled buses funded by Birmingham City Council.
We are working with National Express to confirm plans to introduce high quality zero emission, low floor tram-style vehicles on the route during 2023. Articulated vehicles offer a similar level of customer experience to a tram, with enhanced passenger comfort through airy interiors and additional legroom, air conditioning, Wi-Fi, audio visual announcements and next-stop information. They also include better accessibility and more space for wheelchairs and buggies.
The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games
Sprint was identified as a key part of the Strategic Economic Plan - ‘Movement for Growth' - providing significant long-term benefits for the region - not solely as part of planning for the Commonwealth Games.
However, Sprint was prioritised due to the success of the bid, and the additional benefits Sprint will provide in terms of transport access requirements for the games. Sprint also features in both Birmingham Connected and Solihull Connected and is also part of the HS2 Connectivity Package, approved by the WMCA Board in February 2017.
The first part of the Sprint corridor will be completed in time for the Commonwealth Games in the summer of 2022.