Ian Shires

Liberal Democrat Councillor for Willenhall North Ward, Liberal Democrat Group Leader, Walsall MBC Learn more

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Metro Mayor needs to entice motorists out of their cars with improved public transport say Lib Dems

by Ian Shires on 30 November, 2017

Recent proposals to improve public transport across the West Midlands give Walsall very little to look forward to says the town’s Lib Dem Leader Cllr Ian Shires.

One way of giving the area a boost would be to promote Midland Metro’s little sister the Sprint bus in trolleybus form given the need to improve air quality in our area. A Metro service at a fraction of the cost, Sprint bus could be easily accommodated along arterial routes radiating out of Walsall Town Centre in much the same way as was the case prior to 1970 when the town had a fleet of around 60 trolley buses operating along 6 routes.

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West Midlands Metro Mayor Andy Street made it quite plain recently that his aim was to introduce congestion charging in Birmingham with the fees generated by the scheme being ploughed back into improving public transport. ” The Metro Mayor has got his priorities wrong” said Cllr Ian Shires Jt Chair of the West Midlands Combined Authority. “More progress needs to be made in improving public transport before hitting motorists with yet another expense.”

Sprint is a bus-based rapid transit system. Amongst the benefits of Sprint are:

  • A new mode of transport – bus rapid transit with the comfort and speed of light rail
  • State-of-the art vehicles with a tram-like appearance, with low noise, low vibration, and low emissions
  • Great passenger comfort, with airy interiors, plenty of legroom, and air conditioning
  • Wi-Fi, audio-visual announcements, and on-board next stop information
  • Faster journeys including dedicated priority at key junctions – competitive with the car, and quicker journey times compared to conventional bus
  • Extensive smartcard usage and limited driver interaction to speed up journeys
  • Dedicated stops and interchanges, with easy boarding and simple onward connections
  • High quality customer service
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