Traffic restrictions in place as Sandwell Aquatics Centre gets test run

Restrictions on travel have been put in place around the new Sandwell Aquatics Centre as a series of test events take place.

The new centre will be one of the showpieces of the Commonwealth Games
The new centre will be one of the showpieces of the Commonwealth Games

The 'Prep the Pool' events are the first major test for the centre and are being held to allow swimmers and divers to try out the facilities and also check seating and stewarding in the venue.

Some 200 athletes and 3,000 spectators were taking part in the test event on Saturday, with swimmers from the Swim England Talent Team and spectators including their friends, family and residents of the local area, and a closed session for 300 swimmers and divers on Sunday.

To support the event on Saturday and Sunday and test some elements of the local area traffic and parking plan proposed for the Games, there are temporary changes to the way vehicles can travel and park around Sandwell Aquatics Centre.

There is no onsite parking at the event, with spectators asked to take advantage of a park and ride site and public transport.

To protect access for residents and businesses during the event, ‘controlled parking’ and ‘permit access only’ restrictions are in place around the centre on Londonderry Lane.

To accommodate for shuttle bus services, there are load zones on Londonderry Lane and Manor Road, meaning part of these roads have limited access for residents and are one way, with other travellers required to find alternative routes.

A spokesman for Birmingham 2022 said these events were an opportunity to test elements of the transport plan which would be in place at Games time.

He said: "While we are providing you a permit for this event due to timescales, you will need to apply for a Local Access and Parking Permit (LAPP) for the Games period.

"These permits will be issued by Sandwell Council and posted to you on receipt of application.

"During the ‘Prep the Pool’ test event, residents’ parking will be protected by traffic marshals on the streets surrounding the venue in order to deter spectators from parking in areas which they should not.

"At Games Time a similar approach will be taken with the use of Local Access and Parking Permits (LAPPs) which will exempt residents from the restrictions in the vicinity of their residence and allow appropriate enforcement of the event day parking restrictions."

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