First of 1,000 trees planted along the Sprint bus route linking Walsall to Birmingham and Solihull

The first of 1,000 trees have been planted along the new Sprint rapid transport route linking Walsall, Birmingham and Solihull.

Councillor Waseem Zaffar planting trees with children on the Sprint line
Councillor Waseem Zaffar planting trees with children on the Sprint line

Construction work on the new bus lanes, bus stops and junctions is currently underway on the A34 spelling misery for motorist and has seen the uprooting of 22 mature trees.

However, Transport for West Midlands promised to plant 1,000 new saplings along the route to improve the environment and air quality.

Pupils from Anglesey Primary School in Lozells planted trees in Georges Park which will be registered on the West Midlands virtual forest website as part of the region's quest to be net-zero by 2041.

Birmingham City Council’s cabinet member for transport and environment Councillor Waseem Zaffar helped plant the trees.

He said: “It was fantastic to join the children for the tree-planting – this is their local park and they will be able to enjoy the orchard and the wildlife it attracts for many years to come.

“With zero-emission vehicles and more reliable services bypassing the traffic jams, we hope to persuade more people to give up their cars for their commute in and out of Birmingham.”

Two Sprint routes, on the A34 and the A45 to Solihull are costing £88 million and are expected to be finished for next year's Commonwealth Games.

Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street said: “We have committed to a net-zero carbon region by #WM2041 and are serious about cutting our emissions. So we are planting 1,000 trees near to the A34 and A45, which will become part of our virtual forest and leave a lasting green legacy. It is also an important reminder of our local response to the climate challenge at this time when the world is coming together for COP26.

“And of course Sprint is just one part of our wider investment in public transport, which includes reopening rail stations and lines, expanding our metro tram network, developing cycle routes, and better bus services – all to offer people better connections and provide more convenient alternatives to the car as we look to cut air pollution.”

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