New bus lanes are to be created in Birmingham city centre to help public transport routes.

The details have been released as part of the council announced plans for a 'clean air zone' (CAZ) in which some drivers will be charged for entering the centre of the city.

Planned works will see new bus lanes and bus priority traffic light junctions - which let buses through ahead of other traffic.

These are designed to speed up bus journey times and make public transport more reliable and a more attractive alternative for motorists whose cars fall foul of the pollution charge.

A Priory Queensway bus lane sign in 2013
A Priory Queensway bus lane sign in 2013

They should be in place by 2020, when the charges for heavy polluting cars are introduced.

Included are routes in Edgbaston, Digbeth and parts of the Queensway inner ring road.

The map below shows the planned improvements, which appear to include a bus lane on Broad Street.

Services which could benefit from the new lane include the number 9, 24, 126 and 29.

With the city council set to introduce charges for high polluting cars entering the city centre many have asked 'what alternatives are there?'

There is already much investment in public transport in the city - some of it linked to the Commonwealth Games in 2022 and some to the arrival of HS2 rail in 2026.

This includes extensions of the Midlands Metro tram network and the new cycling superhighways being constructed on the A38 and A34.

The new West Midlands Rail franchise has promised new carriages and more frequent services - with the first set of new timetables due at the end of this year.

And the first Sprint rapid bus routes will be installed on the A45 Coventry Road and A34 Walsall Road by the time the Commonwealth Games start.

The roads getting new bus lanes or improvements

Harborne Road (between Highfield Road and Greenfield Crescent)

Calthorpe Road (betwwen Greenfield Crescent and Five Ways)

Broad Street

Smallbrook Queensway

Upper Dean Street/Moat Lane

Rea Street

Moor Street Queensway

Snow Hill Queensway

Great Charles Street Queensway

Ludgate Hill

Lister Street

Area covered by the clean air zone

The area inside the Middle Ring Road (A4540) highlighted in green. The proposed area for a new clean air zone (CAZ) surrounding Birmingham city centre, under which vehicles responsible for pollution will be charged.

The council aims to charge all polluting vehicles entering the A4540, or Middle Ring Road, using automatic number plate recognition cameras from 2020.

That is the area bordered by Belgrave Middleway, Lawley Middleway, Ladywood Middleway, New St John Street, Newtown Middleway and so on.

Travellers using the A38 Queensway, even those not stopping in the city centre but going between north and south Birmingham, will also be charged. They will be encouraged to use the A4540 between Dartmouth Circus and Bristol Road