Summer Birmingham tunnels closure details given

A38 tunnel The tunnels were previously closed for refurbishment last summer

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Exhibitions detailing diversion routes and work schedules for when Birmingham's city centre tunnels shut for the summer have begun.

The A38 St Chad's and Queensway tunnels will be completely closed from 18 July until 1 September.

The same sections were also shut last summer, when new lighting and fire protection were installed.

Work this summer includes renewing the ventilation system and installing security and communications systems.

Electrical systems, pumping stations and plant rooms will also be revamped.

In a bid to avoid traffic problems, rail and bus service operators are offering cut-price tickets for the duration of the closure.

The first roadshow in Victoria Square Similar exhibitions will be held at Victoria Square, Birmingham Children's Hospital, Brindley Place, Cathedral Square Colmore Row and Centenary Square.

Transport bosses say more than 200,000 extra journeys were made on public transport during last year's closures.

National Express West Midlands will have extra staff on foot at bus stops to explain diversions caused by the closures.

Steven Willacy, 47, who uses the tunnels to drive to his work as a surveyor, said: "Last year was madness. This year it's going to be more grief and more petrol costs sitting in traffic."

Evelyn Rose, 83, a retired former manager at Rackhams, uses trains to travel into the city from her Shirley home.

She said: "We didn't notice the difference in the numbers of train passengers last year."

Eddie Fellows, highway network manager for Amey, which is carrying out the refurbishment for Birmingham City Council, said: "If people are complacent and go in their cars this year, there will be congestion - there's no two ways about it."

Exhibitions will be held at Victoria Square, Birmingham Children's Hospital, Brindley Place, Cathedral Square Colmore Row and Centenary Square over the next few days.

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