TRANSPORT bosses have responded to public concerns about its proposed high speed bus service – over safety, congestion and protection for trees and green spaces.
Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) bosses this week issued updated plans for the first Sprint rapid bus routes in the West Midlands following public consultations.
The new tram-style vehicles will provide fast and reliable journeys along some of the region’s busiest roads, they say.
A new route will run through Solihull and along the A45 into Birmingham but some concerns were raised by residents.
The consultation report states concerns were raised about the potential impact of the scheme on green spaces, specifically the loss of trees in the central reservation on the approach to the Wheatsheaf from Birmingham Airport.
The report states: “Any green space lost as part of Sprint’s proposals will be replaced according to the local highway authority tree replacement policy.
“In some places, replacement greenery may even exceed that which was removed.
“We have a number of options to replace trees removed, with alternative species that will allow us to retain trees in reduced verges while allowing vehicles to run alongside.”
Others were concerned about the safety of pedestrians and residents whose driveways are on the route.
But bosses say there will be a full road safety audit and a new pedestrian crossing on Hobbs Moat Road.
Some residents have opposed changes to service road access on Hobs Moat Road between Melton Avenue and Coventry Road.
And there was some opposition from those who fear more congestion at traffic hotspot Lode Lane.
The report concedes: “The philosophy of Sprint recognises that bus priority measures may reduce road capacity for general traffic and may create increased delays on non-public transport modes.
“Increased delays for general traffic are, in effect, acknowledged as part of the trade-off when it comes to providing an enhanced public transport system.”
There was also some concern about existing bus services being affected, with some questioning the need for the scheme.
The report states: “The proposals will improve the reliability and speed of other bus services that use the route, including those which serve Cranes Park, Chelmsley Wood, Tile Cross, Olton, and Coventry.
“This will ensure the maximum benefit is realised from the investment.”
TfWM has reiterated its pledge that the service will be delivered by 2022.