With essential refurbishment work continuing in Birmingham's tunnels, transport bosses are reminding commuters and visitors to the city that the major route remains closed until Monday 1st September.
The team monitoring the traffic around the city from the Urban Traffic Control Centre has seen Birmingham's traffic perform as planned so far but queue lengths are now increasing as the end of the holiday season approaches.
The team, which includes representatives from the public transport operators, estimate that a similar number of people to last year have made the change to buses and trains. In 2013, over 200,000 additional journeys were made on public transport.
Virgin Trains, who is running Park and Ride offers from Birmingham International Station, has reported an approximate 10% increase in occupancy while a temporary overflow car park at Kings Norton Station has also been well used.
Eddie Fellows, Highways Network Manager for Amey, the company carrying out the works in partnership with Birmingham City Council, said:
“Our thanks go out to everyone who has changed their mode of transport during the closures and helped to keep the traffic moving.
“With just under two weeks of the block closure left, we are starting to see traffic building up again in a similar pattern to last year as the August Bank Holiday weekend approaches and people begin to return to work after their summer breaks.
“We are now appealing to those people who are returning to work and opting to drive to think about their travel choices and urge them to consider alternatives during these final few days of the closure.”
The advice comes as works inside the tunnels are moving along ready for the reopening to the public at 6am on Monday 1st September. Over 40 miles of cabling has been installed and thousands of electrical connections are being made as the technological equipment, including 25 modern jet fans, Video Accident Incident Detection (VAID) system, CCTV and PA system, is being fitted.
Ian Robinson, Operations Manager for Amey, said:
“The construction work inside the tunnels is progressing to programme as our teams work 24 hours a day on the major installations so we can reopen the tunnels to traffic on September 1st.
“However, this will not be the end of the project for us. We will still have an extensive amount of work commissioning the new technology and performing final system checks during overnight closures, as well as works inside the plant rooms while the tunnels are open.”
For more information about the Birmingham tunnel closures, visit www.brumtunnels.co.uk
Notes to Editors
â€¢ The second phase of the tunnels works will complete the upgrade to the tunnels by renewing the ventilation system, installing new security and communications systems, replacing electrical systems and refurbishing pumping stations and plant rooms.
â€¢ 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.
â€¢ Amey is a leading UK public and regulated services provider with over 21,000 employees.
â€¢ Amey operates over 320 contracts, providing an unrivalled range of services including utilities, highways, waste management, rail, justice solutions, social housing and facilities management. Services are underpinned by our leading consulting and asset management capabilities, which allow us to offer stand-alone or integrated service solutions to a range of clients.
For more information, contact Lara Thorns on 07843 368954, email firstname.lastname@example.org