Today marked six months until the Opening Ceremony for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games is set to be held ©Birmingham 2022

Organisers have marked six months to go until the Opening Ceremony of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games by launching an initiative aimed at helping residents and businesses prepare for the multi-sport event coming to the region.

The Get Set for the Games programme seeks to ensure that the English city is suitably ready to host what is billed as "the biggest event that Birmingham and the region has ever staged", with more than 4,500 athletes from 72 nations and territories recognised by the Commonwealth Games Movement expected to take part.

The chair of Birmingham 2022, John Crabtree, explained that the six-month milestone marked an important time for everyone in the region to start preparing for the Games.

"We are now just six months away from the biggest event that this city and region has ever hosted," Crabtree said.

"It is going to be an incredible moment in Birmingham’s history and the spotlight will be fully focused on the West Midlands - this is our time to shine.

"With more than one million tickets already sold and spectators from across the region, country and beyond travelling to all of our sports venues, the region will be a hive of activity, so now is the time for residents and businesses to start making plans for the exciting and busy summer ahead."

Birmingham City Council leader Ian Ward, left, urged residents and businesses to use the Get Set section of the Birmingham 2022 website to plan for the Commonwealth Games ©Birmingham 2022
Birmingham City Council leader Ian Ward, left, urged residents and businesses to use the Get Set section of the Birmingham 2022 website to plan for the Commonwealth Games ©Birmingham 2022

Get Set for the Games has been backed by Birmingham 2022's partners, including Birmingham City Council and other local authorities, Transport for West Midlands and emergency services including West Midlands Police.

The police force's gold commander for Birmingham 2022 Matt Ward insisted the force was "working closely with our partners to minimise disruption and listen to any concerns".

A new Get Set for the Games section of the Birmingham 2022 website and an official Get Set Twitter account have been launched dedicated to providing updates and information to businesses and residents on temporary measures set to be used at the Games.

Birmingham City Council leader Ian Ward urged people based in the region to use the resources available to plan for the Games.

"This is the biggest, most prestigious event Birmingham has ever hosted and there will be a range of things in our normal daily routines that need to temporarily change to enable us to stage the biggest event the city has ever seen," Ward said.

"This is the case with all such major multi-sport events, so I would recommend people start planning ahead and check out information as it becomes available through the Get Set website and other trusted sources."

Additional traffic management measures are planned to enable spectators, athletes and officials to reach venues on time, with schemes to be in place on local roads "to help maintain access for residents and businesses".

Travel on public transport has been promised to ticketholders for events in the West Midlands region as part of their purchase, and as a result local operators are discussing ways to manage demand, including increasing capacity, running more frequent services and extending operating hours.

A transport plan for Birmingham 2022 was given final approval by the West Midlands Combined Authority Board earlier this month, while the journey planner is due to be released later this year.

Road routes for the cycling time trial and road race, triathlon and Para triathlon, and marathon and wheelchair marathon events were revealed in October, with official details on road closures also due to be published later in the year.

The Opening Ceremony of Birmingham 2022 is scheduled to be held on July 28 at the Alexander Stadium, with the Games set to conclude on August 8.

Birmingham 2022 chief executive Ian Reid has written a blog for insidethegames to mark the six-month milestone to the Games, which can be accessed here