Plans have been revealed for a new bus-based rapid transit system in to Birmingham, with Bearwood as one of the stops on the route. Described as ‘the bus which thinks it is a tram’ or ‘Metro’s little sister’, the Sprint will cost £15 million, and if the plans are approved construction could start in 2015 with completion about 18 months later.
They promise the Sprint will have carriages similar to a tram, wi-fi and cctv, disability access and the cleanest Euro 6 level diesel/hybrid engines. At the moment there are due to be two exhibitions to inform people of details about the Sprint proposals – both based in Birmingham, although Centro are being badgered to hold an exhibition in Bearwood too.
You can download the information leaflet with details of when to catch the exhibitions currently being planned, and how to access the website… by clicking here.
Nothing new under the sun is there…….Sprint looks like a tarted-up trolley bus to me…………welcome none the less.
Anything that improves connectivity between Bearwood and the city centre is a good thing.I believe that this kind of thing will encourage people to live here thus benefitting the Bearwood economy. What would be great would be the creation of a cycle lane along the hagley road(the pavements are wide enough to do this) further connecting Bearwood and the city centre.
Bob – have you and the local councillors ever looked into this in conjunction with your Birmingham city counterparts?
The City Council have a new cycling strategy so they may be receptive…although the failure to put a cycle strip at the front of the new traffic lights crossing from Harborne through to Bearwood isn’t encouraging.
I see the new Sprint the other way round, of course. It allows our friends from Birmingham to get to Bearwood quicker!!!
Hear hear Matt……a SAFE cycle lane along the Hagley Road pavements would be great….I for one would certainly use it as cycling along Hagley Road at the moment is dicing with death IMHO
I agree, improving connectivity between Bearwood and Birmingham benefits Bearwood more so as people are more likely to choose Bearwood as a place to live who in turn will contribute to the local economy. Also Bearwood benefits if it has good transport links as people are more likely to visit. Of course crucial to this is giving people good enough reasons to visit, the high street is the key to this which links in nicely to your efforts to improve the high street (which is certainly needed).
While I’m on the subject, Derby, where I hail from, has successfully brought back original shop fronts in certain areas through grants awarded to shop owners. They have restored historic features of buildings and brought empty shops back into use. Could local councillors look into this as part of the plans for Bearwood high street.
Matt, we’ve manged to get a million pounds of council funding towards Bearwood Road improvements, but I doubt it will stretch as far as that when we’ve done things like tree planting and junction improvements. One thing we are keen to do is get the Bearwood shops to set up a Business Improvement District, which raises a small levy on the business rates, which the traders themselves control. That could be a big boost. Thanks for your ideas though, we will be having a consultation exercise around the million pounds, and welcome good ideas.
Great idea Bob. I think your suggestion to plant trees along Bearwood Road is a super idea which would reduce pollution and soften the high street. Also I think an upgrade of the paving is long overdue. It would be good to see something similar to the paving around Tesco in Stourbridge town centre which is smart and due to the colour won’t date (and therefore need to be upgraded as quickly)as the current brick paving on the high street at present.
Speaking of paving, is there anyway that we can upgrade the paving in front of the shop fronts on Abbey road (from Global wines to Selina’s boutique and the shops opposite)? One or two still retain their lovely old blue bricks but in the main it is an awful concrete mess there at present which really does ruin what is a good selection of local businesses. Would be good to have your thoughts on this Bob.
The only issue I have is Bearwood being close to Hagley Rd and the Bearwood Road has an excellent choice of buses already. Similar to Smethwick High St, West Bromwich, Oldbury Centre, Dudley etc. As bus companies atm tend for profits to put most services on main roads. What about the tonnes of people who live in Warley in between Smethwick
High St and Hagley Rd and the Wolverhampton Rd and Bearwood Rd where connections and services tend to be well behind those on main rds? What about ploughing money or diverting buses to service more of the Warley and Sprint and Metro serve Hagley rd. At the moment transport basically means live by main roads or centres your fine and lucky but have to rely on cars and taxis elsewhere. Even journeys to Bearwood or Oldburyor a train station is hit or miss for many and long walks to stops not even where you live. So I agree with Sprint but we dont all live within 5min walk of even a bus that will get us to where we want to go. Bearwood does suffer from poor links from other parts of Warley many main residential roads have no Bearwood at all as they were took off and this is where part of Bearwoods income comes from.