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Region urged to get ready with six months to go until Commonwealth Games

It's just six months to go until the opening of the Commonwealth Games and organisers are urging people to get in the starting blocks ready for the international sports event.

Mayor Andy Street and Commonwealth Games CEO Ian Reid with mascot Perry the Bull
Mayor Andy Street and Commonwealth Games CEO Ian Reid with mascot Perry the Bull

'Get Set for the Games’ was launched in Birmingham's Centenary Square to help residents and businesses prepare as the countdown to the opening ceremony continues.

The event, which will see some of the world's best know sports stars compete, will be taking place at venues including swimming at the new Sandwell Aquatic Centre, in Smethwick, and cycling time trials at Wolverhampton and Cannock Chase. It will run from July 28 to August 8.

West Midlands mayor Andy Street said: "It's exciting. A million tickets are already sold with 400,000 still available if people want to participate. That means one million visitors into the region.

"That means means we've got to put on a hell of a show. The stadium is ready, the swimming pool in Sandwell is pretty much ready.

"The transport links are getting ready and I'm feeling really good about it.

"There is still a chance to get involved. You can buy a ticket if you want, you can apply for training opportunities around the games and people can visit our website to see what's available.

Perry the Bull had fun in Centenary Square as the 'Get Set for the Games' programme was launched

"To businesses, after such a tough period, think of you're going to host those million people if you have a restaurant of cafe.

"It is of course its branded Birmingham, but we have spread the events very wide from Cannock through Wolverhampton - right across the West Midlands so there is lots for the people in the Black Country to look to as well and most importantly a brand new swimming pool which will be the focal point for a lot it. Genuinely it is a full regional games."

The mayor also appealed for motorists to be patient as roadworks are carried out in preparation for the games.

"At the moment there are a lot of roadworks going into and out of the city, but a lot of it is about getting ready for the games. There is a huge amount of work along the Walsall Road

"We have the Sprint rapid bus route. Work is being done on that and it's nearly ready," Mr Street added.

There is six months to go until the Commonwealth Games begins

Development routes include the A34 Walsall Road commuter corridor between Birmingham and Walsall at Perry Barr, where the road is being redesigned ready to host the Sprint buses and a new train station is being built.

Chair of Birmingham 2022 John Crabtree said: “We are now just six months away from the biggest event that this city and region has ever hosted.

"It is going to be an incredible moment in Birmingham’s history and the spotlight will be fully focused on the West Midlands - this is our time to shine.

“With more than one million tickets already sold and spectators from across the region, country and beyond travelling to all of our sports venues, the region will be a hive of activity, so now is the time for residents and businesses to start making plans for the exciting and busy summer ahead.”

Transport for West Midlands executive director Anne Shaw said: “We have recently agreed the Strategic Games Transport Plan which sets out the plans to keep the region moving – including offering spectators local travel to the venue with their tickets, providing additional park and ride facilities, shuttle buses and improved routes for cycling and walking.

“We are also working on plans to ensure residents and businesses can make their journeys with minimum disruption and will be issuing advice and information to help people prepare through the Get Set campaign over the coming weeks and months.”

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