James Wroe, who also lives in Bennetts Hill, knew his company were right to put him up in a serviced apartment when he attempted to drive from his flat in London one Monday morning.

"I got to Fort Dunlop at 8am but didn't reach the office until 9.30am. "The traffic round here is just crazy. I couldn't cope with the M6.

James, 23, works for a container transport company and was reassigned to Birmingham after a takeover.

Research into long term living arrangements indicated hotels were expensive - and most city accommodation was booked.

"We found an apartment for two in the city centre for £15 more than a hotel in Oldbury, not the greatest place in the world."

Because the apartment is being rented for seven days at a time it gives James the option of returning early from the weekend and missing the Monday morning rush hour traffic.

The location means that Birmingham's popular bars, like Apres, Utopia, the Old Joint Stock and the Wellington, are all within walking distance.

"This is a home away from home. It is nice to have someone clean and change the bedlinens and bring fresh towels. It is the little things that make it so much nicer."