West Midlands public transport hits record levels during Commonwealth Games

Spectators, residents, and visitors to the West Midlands helped the region’s public transport network reach record numbers of journeys during the Commonwealth Games.

Shuttle buses queue on Smallbrook Queensway for transport to Edgbaston
Shuttle buses queue on Smallbrook Queensway for transport to Edgbaston

Local train, tram, cycle, and bus travel all saw record breaking numbers across the 11 days as hundreds of thousands of sports fans made their way around the region.

Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), working with transport operators and local authorities, developed, delivered and coordinated transport services for spectators throughout the Games, including running some 600 shuttle buses to and from venues across the region.

Among the records included more than 650,000 spectator journeys on shuttle buses and Birmingham New Street seeing its busiest day since opening, with more than 255,000 passengers travelling through the station on Saturday, August 6.

Other achievements included West Midlands Cycle Hire doubling the number of bike and e-bike rentals with 28,000 hires during the Commonwealth Games and 64,910 parking spaces being booked through the park and ride service.

These records were broken because all event ticket holders had public transport included in their ticket price as part of the Commonwealth Games Transport Plan.

This was agreed by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) Board in June 2021 and helped to make Birmingham 2022 a greener Games.

The focus on public transport and shuttle buses meant that private car use and traffic congestion was kept to an absolute minimum throughout.

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands and chair of the WMCA, said: “As we reflect on the phenomenal success of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, it’s only right that we take a moment to appreciate all the work that has been done to manage the record numbers of people visiting our region.

“It has been a remarkable team effort to get fans to and from sporting events right across the West Midlands so I’d like to say a huge thank you and well done to everyone involved in keeping the system moving.

“Thousands of volunteers have offered visitors a warm welcome to the West Midlands – pointing guests in the right direction as they navigated festivities – so congratulations to all of them on all they’ve done over the last couple of weeks.

“Beyond the volunteers, I’m extremely grateful to all the staff on our buses, trains, trams and car parks who have in their own unique way played a vital role in ensuring people made it to events across the region safely and on time.”

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