THE NEW £7.6million park and ride opened near Longbridge Railway Station on Monday.
The multi-storey car park features more than 600 spaces, CCTV security cameras, electric vehicle charging points and lifts.
Construction finished during spring 2020 but with lockdown cutting demand for park and ride spaces, the multi-storey remained under wraps.
Now, with more people returning to work and more businesses, particularly in the hospitality and tourism sector, opening up following the lifting of Covid restrictions, the car park is now open to the public.
The car park has been developed by Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), part of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), to give motorists an alternative to the busy A38 Bristol Road and an affordable alternative to driving into and parking in Birmingham city centre.
Commuters can use the neighbouring railway station to take fast and frequent services on the Cross City Line to the University of Birmingham, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Sutton Coldfield town centre and Lichfield or Bromsgrove and Redditch the other way.
Coun Ian Ward, the WMCA portfolio lead for transport and leader of Birmingham City Council, said the new car park offered an affordable alternative to driving into the city centre, university or QE Hospital.
“The fact it is now able to open after a year is a sign that the regional economy is beginning to pick up and recover after being hard hit by the pandemic.”
Car park fees are £3 per day (£2 on bank holidays and weekends). Motorists can drive straight in and pay later, using cash, contactless or credit/debit card at a ticket machine, via the Swift transport smart card or online.
Longbridge and West Heath ward councillor Debbie Clancy said: “The extra parking capacity will also be very useful as people return to work and means those travelling later in the day will be able to find a space.”
The development has been backed with £1.8million funding from the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) and Midlands Engine and construction was carried out by Bourne Parking.