Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Transport in Birmingham
A plethora of railway lines from all over Britain meet at Birmingham New Street station, the central hub of the UK rail network, with regular train services to all the major cities in the UK including London, and of the local Cross City railway line. Trains to London can currently also be caught at Moor Street station (Arriving at Marylebone Station), or Birmingham Snow Hill station, though Snow Hill's London services are due to be diverted into Moor Street station in 2009.
Local rail and bus services (in the West Midlands county) are overseen by the West Midlands Passenger Transport Executive, (Centro), which works under the policy and financial guidance of the West Midlands Passenger Transport Authority. However, as a result of bus deregulation in 1986, most bus services are run on a commercial basis, without involvement of Centro or WMPTA, except for the provision of concessionary fares, infrastructure, publicity, multi-operator tickets and general promotion of public transport in the West Midlands. Centro does oversee the tendering of bus services on unprofitable routes or at unprofitable times. Travel West Midlands (Travel WM) runs the majority of bus services.
The Midland Metro, a light-rail tram system promoted by Centro, currently connects Birmingham to Wolverhampton via West Bromwich and Wednesbury. Further expansion in Birmingham City Centre has been approved.
The M6 motorway connects Birmingham to London and the south, and the north-east of England and Scotland. Junction 6 of the M6 is also one of Birmingham's most famous landmarks, and probably the most famous motorway junction in the UK: Spaghetti Junction, officially called the Gravelly Hill Interchange. Other local motorways include:
- The A38(M) which links Spaghetti Junction to the city centre
- The M40, which connects Birmingham to London and Oxford
- The M5, connecting Birmingham to the south-west of England
- The M42 motorway connects Birmingham to the East Midlands
- The M6 Toll, which enables through traffic on the M6 to bypass Birmingham and Wolverhampton.
Other major roads passing through Birmingham include:
- The A34 from Manchester to Winchester
- The A38 from Mansfield to Bodmin
- The A41 from London to Birkenhead
- The A45 from Birmingham to Thrapston (formerly to Felixstowe)
- The A47 from Birmingham to Great Yarmouth
- The A4040 Outer Ring Road
Birmingham is served by Birmingham International Airport, which has flights to all over Europe and to New York. The airport is served by the railway network at Birmingham International railway station.
Although it has no major river (the Rea, on which the City was founded, is now little more than a culverted stream, and the Tame, which only passes through the northern suburbs, is not navigable), Birmingham is at the hub of the country's canal network.
There are 35 miles (60 km) of canals within the city, of which most are navigable. A commonly quoted (and true) fact is that Birmingham has more canals than Venice , although Birmingham does cover a far greater area.
Extensive regeneration of the canals has taken place since the 1980s, from dredging them to enable the smooth passage of narrowboats, to the massive investment in and construction of high quality canalside living accommodation. There are also many new wine bars and restaurants that thrive along the central canal network, like The Mailbox development and Brindleyplace. Similar development is planned for the Eastside area in Digbeth.
Canals in Birmingham include:
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