Travel advice for those returning to the roads this week

Midlands: Those returning to work and school this month are being asked to plan ahead and consider going by bike or walking, as traffic is expected to be the busiest it’s been since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

The first weeks of September are usually busy as up to 100,000 children return to classrooms and people return to work after the summer break. But with coronavirus restrictions having been lifted, this year will see many more people returning to workplaces for the first time in more than a year. This will provide a vital boost to footfall in our town and city centres, ensuring the region is open for business, but will also see an increase in traffic at peak times.

So, Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) is asking commuters and parents on the school run to consider making their journeys by walking, cycling or scooting. Those with a longer commute are also being asked to, where possible, use public transport and travel at less busy times of the day or week so that we can help keep the region moving, while also helping our local businesses recover.

TfWM and its transport partners across the region are helping commuters as follows:

  • The Regional Transport Coordination Centre (RTCC) – is monitoring the local road, rail, tram and bus networks round the clock to respond to incidents, roadworks and congestion and provide commuters with the latest travel information and advice.
  • Three and seven-day fare capping has been introduced this summer and adds great value when using Swift Go on trams and most buses in the region. Once loaded onto a Swift card it offers a tap now and we’ll charge you later. This is a flexible alternative to long-term tickets that may no longer suit your lifestyle if you’re working in a hybrid way following the pandemic.
  • National Express West Midlands has revised the bus timetables to meet expected demand.
  • Bus fares have been cut across the region to encourage people onto public transport and the prices reduced in the nbus sale offer tickets that can be used on all buses in the West Midlands. These now include reduced prices on child tickets just in time for the new term.
  • For young adults, the 16-18 photocard allows those eligible to continue to purchase child tickets saving them 50% on travel to school, college and work.
  • West Midlands Cycle Hire is, from 6th September, waiving the £1 unlock fee for users riding its bikes between 6am and 11am – meaning, for example, a 10-minute ride now costs 50p instead of £1.50.

Anne Shaw, interim managing director for TfWM, said: “We expect to see an increase in activity across all transport networks over the next few days as people return to work and school. With many Covid 19 restrictions lifted, our economy opening up and children returning to classrooms after the summer it is likely to be busier than at any time since the start of the pandemic.

“So TfWM and its partners are working together to keep the region moving and will be keeping passengers and commuters updated.

“We ask that everyone considers minimising the congestion on region’s roads wherever possible and consider other options including cycling and walking, as so many did during lockdown, for commuting or getting to school or college.”

For the latest travel information and to sign up for alerts and updates visit the TfWM website.

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