Birmingham International Airport and City Transport...

Birmingham International Airport (IATA: BHX, ICAO: EGBB) is a major airport located on the border of the city of Birmingham and borough of Solihull in the West Midlands, England

Birmingham airport is the fifth busiest airport in the UK, and handles (as of 2003) eight million passengers a year. It presently offers many domestic flights in addition to destinations across Europe and some flights to the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East and North America.

Birmingham's international airport is eight miles east of the city centre off the A45 and near the M42 (Junction 6); the main terminal is beside Birmingham International train station, from where there are regular services into the centre. New Street train station , to which all InterCity and the vast majority of local services go, is right in the heart of the city. However, trains on the Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwick, Worcester and Malvern lines usually use Snow Hill and Moor Street stations , both about ten minutes' signposted walk from New Street. National Express coach travellers are dumped in the grim surroundings of Digbeth coach station , from where it is a ten-minute uphill walk to the centre.

From the airport:
A new “people mover” system is being developed and will be in operation for participants at ISTH. The system will link the passenger terminals to Birmingham International railway station. The shuttle service will transport visitors to the station in just two minutes carrying up to 1,500 people an hour and will make arrivals and departures a smooth, super-fast experience for ISTH participants. Trains connect Birmingham International with Birmingham New Street in the city centre and depart approximately every 15 minutes with a journey time of around 15 minutes.

A public transport bus route operates approximately every 20 minutes Monday – Saturday and every 30 minutes on Sunday.

Alternatively, from Birmingham International Airport you can take a taxi

If arriving at London Heathrow Flightlink coach services run direct to Birmingham with 14 departures each day (journey time is 2hrs30 – 3hrs30 and cost is £23.00 per person). Tickets must be booked in advance at www.gobycoach.com. Alternatively Virgin Trains run from London Euston to Birmingham New Street every half an hour (journey time is around 90 minutes and cost is from £40 per person).

There is a short stay car park right next to the Terminals which is ideal for dropping off and picking up passengers and if you only wish to park for a short period.

There are several Long stay car parks with courtesy buses running continuously to and from the terminals. It is advisable to book airport parking in advance.

Maps, loads of local leaflets and transport information are provided by all the city's tourist offices . The main office is located bang in the centre of town on Victoria Square at 130 Colmore Row (Mon-Sat 9.30am-6pm, Sun 10am-4pm; tel 0121/693 6300, ). Also in the centre is a smaller tourist office - and useful ticket shop - at 2 City Arcade, off New Street (Mon-Sat 9.30am-5.30pm; tel 0121/643 2514). In addition, there are offices at the International Convention Centre (ICC; tel 0121/665 6116), Centenary Square, and in the National Exhibition Centre (NEC; tel 0121/780 4321), next to the airport. The city council runs its own tourist office and ticket booking office in the Central Library, right in the centre on Chamberlain Square (Mon-Fri 10am-5.30pm, Sat 10am-4.30pm; tel 0121/236 5622). All of the tourist offices operate a same-day hotel bed booking service for free, but advance bookings have to be made at either the NEC or ICC branches.

To see Birmingham at its best, you really need to stay in the centre, but most of the less expensive accommodation is scattered around the suburbs. This may well mean that you'll be dealing with Birmingham's excellent local transport system, whose trains, metro and buses delve into almost every corner of the city. Various companies provide these services, but they are co-ordinated by Centro , who operate both a city-wide public transport information line, Centro Hotline (tel 0121/200 2700) and a regional equivalent, covering the West Midlands conurbation (tel 0247/655 9559). A one-day Centrocard , valid on all services, can be purchased from bus drivers and at train and metro stations; it costs £5 (£4 after 9.30am and at the weekend).

One thing that may confuse is the name of the inner ring road: it's called the Queensway, but individual stretches keep their other names too, for example: Great Charles Street, Queensway