West Midlands Travel & Transport

The transport system in the West Midlands in central England offers visitors a number of ways to get around from public transport such as buses and trains to using the road with car hire, coaches and water ways. The West Midlands includes the city of Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Coventry, Stoke-on-Trent and covers a number of English counties including Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, Worcestershire and Herefordshire.

The West Midlands has an extensive bus network providing transport across the city of Birmingham, the outskirts of the city and a number of cities, towns and villages in the area. There are local bus services to Coventry, Wolverhampton, Warwick, Worcester, Stafford, Stoke-on-Trent and many more. Using the local bus network offers a relatively cost effective way of getting around the region.

Local bus services and timetables are shown at: Network West Midlands

Trains in Birmingham serve a number of routes across the centre of Birmingham and the outskirts. There are several mainline rail routes offering local and regional services including services to Manchester, Newcastle, London, Leicester and Nottingham. Train services and timetables are shown at: Network West Midlands.

There are regular services to the main hub Birmingham New Street railway station from London Euston station, whilst from London Marylebone station there are services to Birmingham Moor Street and Birmingham Snow Hill. The approx journey time from London to Birmingham’s stations is between 1 hour 20 minutes to 2 hours depending on the service used.

Other major train stations in the West Midlands include Coventry, Wolverhampton, Solihull, Sutton Coldfield, Walsall, Stourbridge Junction, Bournville and Sandwell and Dudley. Being centrally located in England trains in the West Midlands region offers good access to cities and towns in the north and south of England.

For more information please see National Rail Enquiries

Midland Metro
The West Midlands has a light rail service, the Midland Metro offering services from Birmingham to Wolverhampton via West Bromwich and Wednesbury. The Metro is available from Birmingham Snow Hill and goes to the Jewellery Quarter before going to West Bromwich and Wednesbury.

For more information please see: Midland Metro

There are a number of cities and towns that are accessible via canal with narrow boats able to travel on the 200 miles of local canals including Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Worcester and Stafford. Travelling via narrow boat gives visitors an interesting alternative way of seeing the area offering a step back in time and an altogether more relaxing and serene way of travelling.

There are a range of attractions that can be seen from the canalside and riverside cafes to stop off at. Riding in the narrow boats combined with using a bicycle and walking on the towpath to explore the attractions and places of interest make for an interesting and different way to see the West Midlands. Please see: Waterscape for more information.

Public Transport Safety Tips
Most journeys on public transport go ahead without incident, in order to minimise the chances of any incidents, passengers may wish to consider the following safety tips:

- Be aware of your belongings at all times.
- Do not leave your bags and belongings unattended at any time.
- Stay alert and aware of your environment and those around you.
- Do not show valuables including money and jewellery in public.
- If you are carrying a bag/handbag, ensure you use a bag that has a strong good quality strap and wear it across your shoulder (not on your shoulder), with the pockets closed facing towards your waist. Carrying the bag on your shoulder makes it much easier for criminals to snatch the bag or cut the strap.
- Be careful and cautious in crowds and beware of pickpockets, do not leave anything valuable showing in public including wallets in back trouser pockets.
- Sit in carriages with other passengers do not sit in carriages with no/fewer passengers.
- Try not to use smaller/isolated stations especially at night.
- When waiting for buses, trains, boats and taxis stand with other passengers in an area that is well lit, do not stand/wait in isolated areas.

There are a number of car hire firms in Birmingham that offer car rental services for both short and longer term car hire offering a range of vehicles from small budget cars to family cars to larger mini-buses and luxury cars. Birmingham does experience traffic congestion along with many other cities, the traffic is usually at its peak during the peak morning and evening rush hours however road incidents and unforeseen circumstances can create traffic congestion at all times.

Birmingham’s central location means it is located at the heart of the UK motorway network making it relatively easy for motorists to get to the city from all major routes. The M5, M6, M40, M42, A34 and A38 are all located close by offering good road connections in and out of Birmingham.

London to Birmingham via the M1 and M6 is a car drive of approx 2 hours to 2 hours 45 minutes depending on traffic and time of day.

Parking in Birmingham is available in the main car parks including at the Bull Ring, Edgbaston Street and Moor Street car parks. is the Westgate Car Park, there are car parks at Gloucester Green and Worcester Street.

Drivers should note there are parking restrictions in the city and there may be driving restrictions in and around the city centre. Following the rules is advised as any infringement is likely to be met with strict enforcement of fines.

Birmingham is easily accessible by coach with coach services from a number of UK towns and cities including from London Victoria coach station where there are regular coach services to Birmingham every hour. The journey time is between 2 hours 35 minutes and 3 hours depending on the time of day and traffic. There are also coach services from London to Wolverhampton, Coventry, Warwick and Stoke-on-Trent. Coach services are provided by National Express

Megabus offer coach services from London to Birmingham with a journey time of 2 hours 45 minutes to 3 hours. There are also services from London to Coventry.

Whilst travelling by coach to the West Midlands is usually more time consuming than using rail and road, it is usually more cost effective.

In Birmingham taxis can be hailed from the street, the black cabs offer a good option for travellers with luggage and for those travelling late at night. The official taxis are regulated, with the main taxi ranks being located at Birmingham New Street, Digbeth Coach Station and Stephenson Street. TOA Taxis provide taxi services for Birmingham.

Birmingham Airport is the major centrally located airport in the West Midlands, located 8 miles to the east of Birmingham city centre, with a journey time of 20 minutes by car. The airport is home to more than 50 airlines servicing over 100 destinations with both short haul and long haul flights catered for.

East West Midlands Airport is located 40 miles from Birmingham via the A42, M42 and M6. The airport includes domestic and international flights.

Both Liverpool and Manchester Airports in North West England offer access to counties in the northern part of the West Midlands, both airports are 60 to 90 minutes car drive from Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire and Shrewsbury in Shropshire.

For more information on public transport in the West Midlands including information on public transport and timetables please see: West Midlands Travel

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