National Express unveils £5 million fleet of buses for routes 9 and 99
National Express West Midlands has unveiled a £5 million investment in 30 new buses for routes 9 and 99, which connect Halesowen, Stourbridge and Birmingham up to every 10 minutes throughout the day.
The new British built, double deck buses offer enhanced features for bus users including more comfortable seating within buggy and wheelchair zones, improved handrails to assist passengers with mobility issues and additional CCTV and anti graffiti coating throughout the vehicle.
To encourage people to use the new 9 and 99 bus services rather than the car, National Express recently issued 80,000 free Daysavers to people in the local area. And to make it easier for people to clearly see where different buses are travelling to, new route maps and frequency times are displayed on the exterior of the bus.
Neil Barker, Director of Bus and Coach for National Express West Midlands, said:
"We’re delighted to introduce 30 enhanced vehicles onto the 9 and 99 service for people travelling by bus to Halesowen, Stourbridge and Birmingham. Existing customers have already noticed the improvements made to these services with new timetables introduced earlier this year to provide faster and more regular journey times. The 9 & 99 bus services are also benefitting from a new dedicated route manager who will monitor and maintain our service standards.
To encourage new customers to try their local bus service we recently issued 83,000 local households with a free Travelcard for use on the 9 and 99 service before August 31.”
The £5 million investment in new buses was a key commitment of the Dudley Bus Partnership project which was signed by Centro, the region’s transport authority, National Express and Dudley Borough Council last September after a review and modernisation of the borough’s bus network.
The Partnership supports Centro’s ‘Transforming Bus Travel” vision, to which National Express has also signed up, which aims to further improve the quality of travel in the West Midlands and attract more passengers on to the buses, helping to reduce road congestion, sustain economic growth and address social inclusion.
Councillor Angus Adams, Lead Member for District Liaison/Rapid Transit Development for Centro, said: “It’s fantastic to see the commitments set out in the Dudley Bus Partnership starting to come on stream.
“These new buses, together with the changes made to Dudley’s bus network will give people more comfortable, reliable and convenient journeys. They will also provide a real choice for those people wanting to switch from car to a more sustainable way of travelling.”
- Bus service 9 operates up to every 10 minutes throughout the day and links Birmingham - Bearwood - Halesowen - Lye – Stourbridge via Broad Street, Five Ways, Hagley Road, Quinton and Colley Gate.
- Bus service 99 operates up to every 15 minutes throughout the day and links Birmingham - Bearwood - Halesowen - Cradley Heath - Merry Hill via Broad Street, Hagley Road, Quinton, Spies Lane, Old Hill and Quarry Bank