Getting around in Birmingham is a breeze thanks to an efficient transport network. The city's location in central England makes it a useful regional hub and, after significant investment, the city's public transport infrastructure is well developed. Continuing investment from the government enables continual extensions and upgrades to the system.
Travelling by car is another option, and though fuel prices are currently extremely high, many still prefer the freedom and comfort that come with owning a car, particularly those with children.
Public transport in Birmingham
Managed by Transport for West Midlands, public transport in Birmingham is widespread and easily accessible.
Trains are a popular mode of transport in Birmingham; the city's railways see England's highest proportion of rail commuters outside of London.
The main railway hub is New Street Station, which serves as the calling point for most intercity services to and from Birmingham. Several local commuter lines also branch out from New Street Station.
The West Midlands Metro tram system currently has one line running between Birmingham and Wolverhampton. This line is in the process of being extended.
A large number of bus services operate in Birmingham, the most prominent of which is National Express West Midlands. Buses arrive fairly punctually, and many routes run late into the night and on Sundays.
Taxis in Birmingham
It's easy to find a taxi in Birmingham; they can be ordered online or found at a taxi rank. While it's possible to flag down a taxi on the street, only Hackney Carriages (black cabs) may be hailed in this manner. All other taxis are considered private-hire vehicles and, by law, must be booked ahead of time. Uber and Bolt are operational in the city and fall under this category.
Driving in Birmingham
A city with a history of car manufacturing, Birmingham has an abiding love of driving and many people use cars daily. Excellent road networks make navigation easy.
Drivers from abroad can continue to drive on their licence from home for up to 12 months of living in the UK, from which point a British licence is required to keep driving legally.
The UK has agreements with a number of countries that allow drivers to directly exchange their foreign licence for a local licence, including Australia, Canada and South Africa. EU licences can be used for as long as they remain valid.
Drivers not from the EU or a designated country will need to do a written and practical test to obtain their British licence.
Some parts of the city, such as the area inside the A4540 Middleway Ring Road, are designated Clean Air Zones. Cars driving in these areas must either adhere to certain fuel-emission standards or will have to pay a fee.
Cycling in Birmingham
Cycling is becoming increasingly popular in Birmingham as the city authorities continue to build and expand cycle routes. West Midlands Cycle Hire operates a large-scale bicycle-hire scheme that includes both pedal bicycles and eBikes. These can be picked up and dropped off at any of the many docking stations around Birmingham.
►For more info about national and intercity travel, see Driving and Transport in the UK
Are you an expat living in Birmingham?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Birmingham. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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