South Birmingham bus routes are changing
National Express West Midlands is changing its bus services in south Birmingham, starting this month.
The bus operator has redesigned its network of routes across the area to the south of Birmingham city centre, between Hagley Road and Warwick Road. The changes will all come in on Sunday 22 July 2018.
Tom Stables, Managing Director of National Express West Midlands, said:
“We are making these changes to our bus routes in south Birmingham to improve services and deal with the impact of congestion on buses.
“Because there’s now so much more traffic in the area, especially on the Bristol Road and in the city centre, rush-hour bus journeys have got 12% slower than they were three years ago. On several routes in south Birmingham, the average speed of a bus is under six miles an hour.
“This means our customers can’t get to where they want to be quickly enough.
“We are working closely with Birmingham City Council and Transport for West Midlands to improve road layouts and traffic light phasing at congestion hotspots, but we also have to tackle congestion by making these changes.
“For the past year, National Express West Midlands has been consulting with the public. It was the largest consultation we’ve ever done and we got 10,000 responses. I’d like to thank everyone who gave us feedback - my network planning team read every single response and they used the information you gave us to design the new routes.”
The changes mean that nearly 100,000 more people in south Birmingham will now have easy access to the QE and the university - part of the city which is growing all the time. More of National Express West Midlands’ top-spec very, very dark grey Platinum buses will be used on these routes.
The network will now be simpler, which is proven to attract more new customers out of their cars and onto the bus - especially important because the UK government expects Birmingham to introduce a Clean Air Zone from January 2020.
National Express West Midlands has also speeded up its buses by investing millions in new ticket machines which accept contactless. Customers can pay just by tapping their bank card on the reader. They don’t even have to collect a ticket.
This saves each customer just a few seconds. But across a long West Midlands bus route with over 100 bus stops, those seconds add up and can speed up bus journey times by up to 10%.
National Express West Midlands will be holding information sessions where staff will be on hand to talk customers through their journey options:
Northfield: Thursday 12 July 2018 1000-1600 - Tates Corner opposite the shopping centre
Harborne: Saturday 14 July 2018 0900-1500 - outside Iceland/opposite Barclays
QE hospital: Tuesday 17 July 2018 1000-1600 - inside the main entrance