Motorists and businesses advised of tunnel closures

By on 20/03/2013 in Cllr Ali, News

Birmingham residents, businesses and visitors are advised that the A38 tunnels through the city centre are going to be closed for six weeks this summer while essential refurbishment is carried out.

The St Chad's and Queensway tunnels will be completely closed to all traffic from 19 July to 2 September. The closure will be preceded by four weeks of overnight closures, from 10pm to 6am, and followed by up to two weeks of similar overnight closures.

Amey, working in partnership with Birmingham City Council, has been liaising with business representatives to ensure that appropriate diversion routes are put in place.

People who work in the city centre or who visit Birmingham are being urged to consider how they travel during the six week closure period, with train, bus and cycling all being viable alternatives to driving.

During the closure of the 40-year-old tunnels, work will be undertaken involving structural modifications, upgrading fire protection, and improving the lighting and general appearance.  Further refurbishment works including new emergency, control and communications systems are being planned for next year.

Councillor Tahir Ali, cabinet member for development, jobs and skills, said: “I would urge everyone who regularly drives into the city centre, particularly at peak times, to consider alternatives. Although the work has been planned for the school holidays when there are fewer vehicles on the roads, it will still have an unavoidable impact. Drivers should consider using public transport, cycling or even walking where it is feasible.

“We are continuing to engage with the public and businesses to explain what we are doing and why this important work is needed. I would ask motorists to start thinking now about alternative ways of getting into the city centre.”

John Sunderland, Business Director at Amey, said: “The work we are carrying out is essential, and we are aware that closing the tunnels will have a major impact on the city.”

“However, by talking to people now, and ensuring those people who usually drive into the city centre have plenty of notice, we hope that people will give their travel plans some consideration.”

“Our traffic planning team are hard at work ensuring that all diversion routes are suitably signed and easy to follow, so people can still get into Birmingham whether it is for work or leisure.”

The work in the tunnels is an important part of the Birmingham Highways Maintenance and Management Service, run by Amey and Birmingham City Council, which will see the roads across the city brought up to an agreed standard, and then maintained, over the course of the 25-year contract. The service began in 2010.


Notes to Editors

•    In 2010, Amey won the Birmingham Highways Maintenance and Management Service contract to manage and maintain the city's roads over the next 25 years. The contract will see a huge investment into the city's road network and Amey is working in partnership with Birmingham City Council to deliver the contract. The works include refurbishment and improvement of the city's roads, footways, bridges, tunnels, street lighting and traffic control systems.

•    Amey is a leading UK public services provider with more than 11,000 staff. The company works across three main markets - transport, social and environmental infrastructure, all supported by our award-winning consultancy services.
•    Amey delivers services in the highways, roads, schools, waste, rail, fleet solutions, workspace, street lighting, commercial, housing and aviation sectors. By offering a complete life-cycle solution for services, we maximise efficiencies for our customers.

For more information, contact Lara Thorns on 07843 368954 or email

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  1. des Ponsonby says:

    I had heard that there was a plan around to link the two tunnels, but underground so that there would be less of a traffic obstruction on Great Charles st, seemed like a good idea, but costly! Tunnels look good when kept clean & bright, driving around Maderia perfect example but our council sadly have let these deteriorate to third world standards,
    These tunnels should have been maintained to much higher standard.