By ITV Central Production Journalist Nick Reid
An air of excitement continues to whip across Birmingham and the West Midlands as just days remain before the Commonwealth Games get underway.
Thousands of spectators and athletes will be descending on the region for the global multi-sport event when it begins on Thursday, July 28.
Preparations are well underway as more than one million people are expected to travel around the region to training and competition venues.
West Midlands Police say up to 3,000 police officers from the force and across the country will be working across the games to ensure safety and security.
And transport bosses have also been busy planning transport arrangements during the events to ensure people in and around Birmingham and the West Midlands stay on the move.
Here's a guide on the measures in place to ensure a smooth running during the games.
GET SET FOR THE GAMES
The Birmingham 2022 website urges people to plan their journeys ahead of time to minimise delays and disruption before, during and after the Games and to keep checking for more location-specific information.
The busiest times will be just before and just after the events take place. for local journeys, avoid the traffic by walking or cycling.
Use the road and rail network maps to see which junctions or services are likely to be busy on which days and at which times.
If you live close to a road event, be aware that road closures and diversions will be in place on these days.
Birmingham has five competition venues including Alexander Stadium, Edgbaston, Arena Birmingham, University of Birmingham, Smithfield and Sutton Park.
There will be two road races – Marathon and Triathlon, an athletes’ village at University of Birmingham and nine festival sites, including sites in Victoria Square and Smithfield.
In the run up to and during the Games there'll be some changes to parking and how the roads operate around competition venues, the road race events and some transport hubs.
Changes that you might see include:
The parking restrictions are designed to protect residential streets, ensure you can access your homes safely and reduce spectator parking in restricted areas.
To help reduce traffic in and around venues, spectators travelling to the events will be encouraged to use public transport, with the cost included in their event tickets.
The Road Races events will require additional road closures to ensure the safe operation of the event for both athletes and spectators. These closures and restrictions will be in for the shortest amount of time possible but are subject to safety assessments on the day, before being removed.
To maximise the use of public transport during the Games and secure its long-term use, Transport for West Midlands and partners says they will improve the coverage, capacity, efficiency, reliability and accessibility across a range of modes.
A number of transport schemes, have been created according to the Games Transport Plan including:
Sprint Bus Transit schemes• A34 Birmingham to Walsall: Providing enhanced connectivity with Alexander Stadium.• A45 Birmingham to Airport and Solihull: Supporting connectivity with the NEC.• Both routes will be complete in time for the Games.
West Midlands Metro• Extension of the Metro routes to Centenary Square, Five Ways and Edgbaston.• The delivery of a new multi-modal transport interchange at Wolverhampton Rail station improvements.• Increased capacity and enhanced passenger experience at University station.• Transport Interchange at Perry Barr during the Games.• Improved capacity and accessibility at Coventry rail station.• Improvements to the forecourt of Leamington Spa railway station.
Cycling Upgrades• New segregated cycleway along the A34 and the A38.• Introduction of the West Midlands bike share scheme.
Road Upgrades• Congestion Management Plan and supporting highway investment programme to increase capacity and manage demand on the Key Route Network.• Improvements at M6 J10 to reduce congestion and delays.• Improved layout at A34 Perry Barr to benefit pedestrians, cyclists & public transport.
West Midlands Regional Transport Coordination Centre (RTCC)• Providing permanent regional coordination of the transport network and services.• Offering reliable, resilient and integrated transport services.
SPECTATOR AND WORKFORCE TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS
Transport services will be in operation to serve the different competition venues throughout the Games.
As part of Birmingham 2022's commitment to delivering a clean and green public transport Games, for events in the West Midlands, your Games ticket will include access to public transport in the local area on the day of your event.
Games time volunteers, the OC workforce and all members of the Games Family will also be able to access the local public transport network.
All competition venues will have bookable blue badge parking available.
The most prominent transport services available according to the Games Transport Plan for each competition venues are:
Alexander Stadium, Cannock Chase, Birmingham city centre venues, Coventry Arena, Coventry Stadium, NEC cluster, Sandwell Aquatics Centre, St Nicholas Park Warwick, Sutton Park, University of Birmingham, Victoria Park, Wolverhampton West Park.
Alexander Stadium, Cannock Chase, Coventry Arena, Coventry Stadium, Edgbaston Cricket Ground, Sandwell Aquatics Centre.
Alexander Stadium, Birmingham city centre venues, Coventry Arena, Coventry Stadium, Edgbaston Cricket Ground, NEC cluster, Sandwell Aquatics Centre, St Nicholas Park Warwick, Sutton Park, University of Birmingham, Victoria Park, Wolverhampton West Park.
Birmingham city centre venues, Sandwell Aquatics Centre, Wolverhampton West Park.
Cycling (C) and Walking (W)
Alexander Stadium (CW), Birmingham city centre venues (CW), Coventry Arena (C), Coventry Stadium (C), Edgbaston Cricket Ground (CW), Sandwell Aquatics Centre (C), St Nicholas Park Warwick (W), Sutton Park (W), University of Birmingham (C), Victoria Park (W), Wolverhampton West Park (W).
Park and ride
Alexander Stadium, Coventry Stadium, Sandwell Aquatics Centre
Park and walk
Cannock Chase, Coventry Stadium, NEC Cluster, St Nicholas Park Warwick, Victoria Park.
WEST MIDLANDS POLICE
West Midlands Police is the lead for the overall security of the event.
It is working closely with neighbouring forces, British Transport Police, fire and ambulance as well as members of the Armed Forces and private security to deliver a number of different functions.
Officers will have up to 3,000 officers working across the Games footprint.
Around 1,000 West Midlands Police officers will be joined by more than 2,000 officers from forces across the country on "mutual aid".
This includes officers from Police Scotland, Ministry of Defence Police, Civil Nuclear Constabulary and Police Scotland.
Using mutual aid officers also ensures that police can continue to serve communities during Games time to deliver on policing priorities and keep people safe.