Tunnels closed from

10pm Friday 18th July 2014


6am Monday 1st September 2014

Overnight closures: 10pm to 6am

* Throughout Sept and October.

See calendar for details

Keep checking website for updates

What we are doing in 2014

The A38 St Chad’s and Queensway tunnels through Birmingham will be completely closed to all traffic from 10pm on Friday 18 July until 6am on Monday 1 September 2014. The closure will be preceded by two weeks of overnight closures, from 10pm to 6am, and followed by overnight closures (click here for details).

Location Map 2014

The A38 tunnels through Birmingham are over 40-years-old and had never had a full restoration. Last year, essential refurbishment work started in order to bring them up to modern European standards. Click here to see what works were completed in 2013.

This year, the upgrade to the tunnels will be completed. During this second phase, works will include renewing the ventilation system, installing new security and communications systems, replacing electrical systems and refurbishing pumping stations and plant rooms.

This work will bring the tunnels right up-to-date with some of the most modern technology available, meaning they can be better managed to keep traffic flowing through Birmingham.

This technology will include cameras that can detect vehicles causing obstructions, variable message signage (VMS) that can warn motorists of incidents inside the tunnel, response systems to control emergency exit doors to ensure people escape into safe areas and not live traffic lanes and PA and radio rebroadcast systems for emergency announcements.


To upgrade the ventilation system, we will remove existing fans and replace them with 25 modern jet fans. These will be connected to the Air Quality Monitoring system that was installed last year as well as the emergency fire response systems which can be activated to remove smoke from the tunnel in the event of a fire.

As well as the fans, we will be installing and connecting:

  • 27 PA speakers,
  • 21 CCTV cameras
  • 32 vehicle detection cameras
  • 48 emergency phones
  • 4 digital variable message signs
  • Over 160 emergency way-finder signs
  • 7 controlled evacuation doors
  • Over 40 miles of electrical cabling needed to run the new systems

In order to carry out these essential works, we once again need to close the A38 tunnels during the summer, with a series of overnight closures before and after.

Click here for information on Alternative Transport and Suggested Routes during the closures.

Click here for information on localised traffic management measures, including restrictions that will be in place on Broad Street and at St Chad's junction.

Why do you need to close the tunnels again?

We will have approximate 120 people in the tunnels at any one time and works will be ongoing 24 hours-a-day over the six-week closure period.

To facilitate the challenging tasks, amount of equipment and the number of people, as well as provide all the welfare requirements (Toilets, break facilities etc) needed, it would be extremely difficult to complete the works without the full closure.

The night closures before and after the block closure will be used to carry out preparatory works and to test and fully commission all the new technology and electrical systems.

Click here for more answers to Frequently Asked Questions