A concept image of a Sprint bus, which is set to become a familiar sight in Birmingham ahead of the 2022 Commonwealth Games ©WMCA

Birmingham is set to have its first cross-city bus service in time for the city hosting the 2022 Commonwealth Games. 

Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) will deliver a zero-emission route along the A34 and A45 between Walsall - to the north of the city - to Birmingham Airport and Solihull, via the city centre.

The 'Sprint' bus scheme will cost £88 million ($114 million/€104 million) and will get commuters and visitors to key venues such as Alexander Stadium in Perry Barr, Arena Birmingham and Resorts World Arena.

Changes in off-board ticketing will also speed up boarding time for each stop, but the proposed operator has yet to be announced.

Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street said: “The first phase of the Sprint scheme will see the introduction of a brand-new, cross-city service running in time to ferry thousands of visitors around the region for the Commonwealth Games.

“The scheme is also a key part of our transport revolution which is, after decades of under-investment, delivering new bus, rail, Metro and cycle schemes to serve the people of the West Midlands for generations to come.

Arena Birmingham will host events including gymnastics in 2022 ©Getty Images
Arena Birmingham will host events including gymnastics in 2022 ©Getty Images

“Pending approval of the business case at the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) board next week, we will be able to get on with delivering yet another transport scheme the West Midlands can be proud of.”

The new service will also support Birmingham and the surrounding area's ambitions to tackle climate change.

Councillor Ian Ward, West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) portfolio holder for transport and leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “The eyes of the world will be on Birmingham and the West Midlands during 2022 so I am delighted that we will have this efficient new Sprint bus service to move people around and showcase the best our region has to offer.

 “Sprint is also part of our wider plans to transform the way we travel. 

"Through enhancing bus shelters and providing priority for Sprint and other existing services, we are offering people a reliable and sustainable alternative to car when travelling around Birmingham. 

"It’s all part of our commitment to tackling road congestion and climate change.”

The full business case will be presented to the WMCA board on February 14.