Birmingham's transport future re-envisioned

This map is not an official document. It has no afiliation with any transport group or operator whatsoever. It is a hobbyist-made vision of what Birmingham's transport network could look like.


A West Midlander has taken Mayor Andy Street's 2020 vision for the future of Brum's transport network and "filled the gaps".

Stourbridge-based Liam, who's 25, is something of a transport enthusiast and even taught himself how to use Illustrator to produce his more detailed take on where we, theoretically, could go with our trams, trains and buses. 

"When the mayor released his vision in map form a few years ago," says Liam "I was excited by it. But I quickly realised it wasn't perfect. I'm not saying my version is, but hopefully it offers more detail and a bit more thought. I took Andy Street's vision as inspiration — used the same routes, the same destinations and the same terminuses, but I've filled the gaps, so to speak. I've changed some names of the lines, removed a few things I thought were redundant, changed the look and feel a bit with fonts and icons. I've added the Transport for West Midlands branding and over-layed a Transport for London zonal system."

There are a few little jokes in there too. Liam has tweaked 'Edgbaston Village' tram stop to be named 'Not Edgbaston Village' because he feels it's nowhere near where Edgbaston Village actually is. In fact, if you scroll south on the green line you'll spot he's added 'Actual Edgbaston Village', where he would put a stop of that name, between the Ring Road and the cricket stadium.

Impressive as it is, though, is it pie in the sky? "Well I started making this in August when I felt sort of optimistic about at least some of it being realised. Currently we have the one Metro line [the blue line from Wolverhampton] and Andy Street's proposal includes eight. So yeah, I'd say that a lot of it is pie in the sky which is a shame because we are the second city, it would be great to have something that's comparable to what I've produced. I don't know if £15 billion would cut it though! Perhaps we need to investigate the idea of sprint buses and better bus lane options, if loads of new tramlines are unrealistic?

"We need to compliment what we have, I reckon. It needs to be a cohesive network to get people from A to B. We could do with an Oyster card style system. A modern solution that isn't simply the day saver ticket that sort of... just sort of does the job, but not quite. We need that tap in, tap out, top up, set up.

"But anyway, what do I know? I'm just a bit of a hobbyist and designing this was a laugh"