New congestion tackling centre to get a test run during Cricket World Cup in Birmingham
The region’s new congestion-busting transport co-ordination centre is set to step into action this summer as Birmingham plays host to the Cricket World Cup.
Birmingham’s Edgbaston Cricket Stadium is set to host five international matches during June and July with thousands of fans expected to add to the already pressurised road network during the morning rush hour.
But transport bosses are working together through the new Regional Transport Co-ordination Centre (RTCC) to manage journeys and keep people moving.
Bringing together industry experts from rail, bus and Metro, transport bosses will monitor the whole transport system during the Cricket World Cup, including roads, 6am-9pm.
It will mean passengers, residents and businesses will have access to a consistent ‘live’ stream of information and travel advice to help them plan their journeys.
The plan is made possible by a £19.5m pot of funding from the Department of Transport and Transforming Cities Fund, which is set to be approved by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) Board on May 24.
The money gives the green light to the first phase of the RTCC which will be in place by December 2019, monitoring roads and public transport 15 hours a day, six days a week with a duty manager available 24/7 and co-ordinating the entire network’s response to congestion.
It will be the first time the West Midlands will be monitored at such a scale. The trial runs will take place following the closure of the Five Ways underpass on June 3 and during the Cricket World Cup.
Data monitored and collected by the centre will be used to help shape future improvements to the road network by highlighting congestion hotspots.
The investment will also see better co-ordination of multi-agency construction projects including HS2, Metro extensions and Sprint. Giving people access to more accurate travel information, better alternative options during disruption, more reliable journey times and ultimately, less time sitting in traffic especially during major events.
Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “Birmingham and the West Midlands is on a global stage for the Cricket World Cup and during that time we need to make sure fans have the best possible experience, which includes getting to and from matches in good time.
“Whether people are attending the cricket matches or just going about their day-to-day journeys, it is imperative there are no major disruptions and the region continues to run smoothly. I believe the RTCC, incorporating all the major transport operators in one room monitoring the network, can help achieve this.”
Cllr Roger Lawrence, WMCA portfolio holder for transport said: “Our congestion management plan sets out a commitment to improving journeys in the West Midlands.
“A Regional Transport Co-ordination Centre with one view of the whole transport network is key to managing manage major disruption and events and delivering more reliable journeys.”
When is the Cricket World Cup?
The ICC Cricket World Cup is taking place in England and Wales between Thursday 30th May and Sunday 14th July, the day of the final. Several matches will be played in Birmingham, with other being played across the two nations including in Manchester’s Old Trafford Stadium, the Cardiff Wales Stadium and The Oval in London.
The second Semi Final will be held in Birmingham before the ultimate final game at Lord’s in London.
Countries taking part in the Cricket World Cup are:
Venues hosting matches are:
Which Cricket World Cup matches are being played in Birmingham?
The Edgbaston Cricket Ground has a venue capacity of 24,500 and will host five games during the Cricket World Cup, which will be held at stadiums across England and Wales:
Wednesday 19 June
NEW ZEALAND V SOUTH AFRICA
Wednesday 26 June
NEW ZEALAND V PAKISTAN
Sunday 30 June
ENGLAND V INDIA
Tuesday 2 July
BANGLADESH V INDIA
Thursday 11 July
2ND V 3RD (SEMI-FINAL 2)
To see all planned matches, click here.
Edgbaston and Cricket…
Having been established in 1886, it’s fair to say that Edgbaston – home of Warwickshire County Cricket Club – has been the venue for some historic moments, including Brian Lara’s knock of 501*, the highest score by a batsman in first-class cricket.
It has been a venue at four previous ICC Cricket World Cups, and was a semi-final location in the 1979, 1983 and 1999 editions. It will host five games at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, including one semi-final and the high-profile meeting of England and India.
Cricket fans will remember Edgbaston’s 1999 World Cup semi-final between Australia and South Africa as arguably the greatest-ever ODI. Allan Donald and Lance Klusener were the men at the crease that day, with a mix-up in the middle when the scores were level meaning Australia progressed to the World Cup final.