The 2022 Commonwealth Games, held in Birmingham, will be the biggest sporting and cultural event that the city and the region have ever seen. With an estimated television audience of 1.5 billion people, it will showcase Birmingham, the West Midlands and the entire country as an amazing place to live, work, study, visit and do business.
Effective transport helps local communities and supports local economies. We are investing in transport across the region including over £320 million of Transforming Cities Fund funding to support local transport projects in the West Midlands.
We know that putting in place effective transport provision is a crucial part of any major sporting event and requires detailed planning and coordination. A well understood and supported Transport Plan is therefore essential.
The Birmingham Commonwealth Games Act 2020, which received Royal Assent on 25 June, includes a number of transport measures and places the Games Transport Plan on a statutory footing, awarding it appropriate weight and authority.
Today, I am delighted to inform the House that, in line with s.25(1) of the Act, I have directed the West Midlands Combined Authority to prepare a Games Transport Plan for the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
The Games will be delivered in a much shorter time than other Games: in just 4.5 years, rather than the typical 7. Local partners in Birmingham and the West Midlands are already leading the transport preparations for the Games.
The Games Transport Plan is an integral measure, which will set out a strategic approach to planning and coordination of transport to support the Games; covering the transportation of spectators, athletes and the Games Family, while at the same time ensuring that any disruption to transport users is kept to a minimum.
When complete, a copy of the final Games Transport Plan will be placed in the libraries of both Houses.