JQ BID in talks to ease travel disruption during tunnel closures

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The Jewellery Quarter BID (JQ BID) is working with Amey, the company that manages and maintains the city’s roads in partnership with Birmingham City Council, to ensure that major roadworks planned for the city centre this summer will cause minimal disruption to businesses in the area.

The planned roadworks will see the A38 St Chad’s and Queensway tunnels completely closed to all traffic from 19 July to 2 September while necessary improvements are carried out. 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.

Alternative routes into the city will be promoted during the closure, and 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 a similar set of closures next year in 2014.

John Sunderland, business director at Amey, said: “We are working with the JQ BID to ensure that suitable diversions will be in place in and around the Quarter. While we understand that driving is the only option for some, the use of public and sustainable transport during this period is encouraged to minimise the amount of traffic on the roads.”

Keith Stanley, operations director for the Jewellery Quarter Development Trust (JQDT) and JQ BID, said: “The tunnel closures – although necessary – are likely to cause some traffic disruption. Therefore, we urge businesses to plan ahead and inform their staff of the diversion routes in place and encourage the use of public transport. Likewise, you will need to inform clients and visitors of the best way to get to the Jewellery Quarter.”

Birmingham City Council took the decision to close the tunnels for six weeks during the summer when peak traffic flows are typically lower as an alternative to evening and weekend closures that would have seen disruption over a longer period of time.

For more information about the tunnel closures, please visit www.brumtunnels.co.uk. The site offers visitors an overview of the works that are being carried out as well as advice on suggested routes and alternative transport into the city centre.

PLEASE NOTE: Lancaster Tunnel will be closed from 10pm on Friday 26th April until 6am on Monday 6th May 2013.  A number of overnight closures during week commencing 13th May 2013 will also be required for testing and commissioning. A diversion for traffic around Lancaster Circus gyratory will be fully signed.

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