Traffic may be picking up due to longer wait times on the A31 in Solihull.
All of the bus lanes are painted with yellow lines, but most don’t have pedestrians crossing the road visible.
So if you’re an oblivious commuter, why would you stand still on the pavement when you can catch an Xpress?
In the first part of our series, the BBC Look North team went out into the tunnels beneath Solihull to check out the workings. And you’ll see, what you see is what you get.
Even though there is clearly a sign pointing people in the right direction, it is not in the middle of busy rush hour traffic. And that leaves very little room for error.
Check out the tunnels below in part two…
Those symbols on the underside of the bus lanes indicate how far to go to get there and the amount of room someone in the vehicle will have to stop to let a pedestrian cross the road. They are blue lines in broad, evenly spaced strokes.
But it’s not enough just to tell you where to go – you need to know how to keep safe there.
If you and another person are both in your vehicle, there are no simple spaces to separate you at either end of the road.
Can you see these colours on the bus lanes?
If you go back to the Odeon in Birmingham – and most bus lanes in the city are like this – at the front the markings are blue. At the back, yellow – very similar to the red arrows, but not quite as confusing.
Red hues and yellow shades are used throughout the country – and as the Guardian put it, “This is what would happen if you’d painted your room grey and used yellow paint to cover it up” – two of the toughest and more defined colours used to draw people out of a well-lit area.
The colour and the distances between the yellow lines help other motorists who may not even see you or as might be expected – it’s only when you turn around.
The bus lanes at the J junction at Solihull were originally painted to prevent cyclists from waiting too long for the next bus.
But a lack of passengers using the tube meant the problem that motorists were having when driving long distances to and from work became an issue.
The number of buses using these lanes – down from a high of approximately 200 per hour a decade ago – has remained the same.
So if you’re using the bus lanes to make your way to work, it may be too late to grab a cheap bus but there’s a lot you could have done differently – but you would have hated to be caught by surprise.
Do you have any ideas to improve the access to your next appointment? Want to hear more?
Just email Karen Barton for more resources, feature ideas and listener requests.