Dudley councillor says she is doing all she can to save bus services from getting the axe

A Councillor has said she is doing her best to be proactive and prevent an essential bus service from being cut in Dudley.

National Express operates bus services in the West Midlands
National Express operates bus services in the West Midlands

Judy Foster, deputy leader of the Labour Group said she has met with Transport for West Midlands along with other Dudley councillors to discuss potential changes to transport services in the area.

Last week, it was revealed that the X10 bus service which currently runs from Gornal Wood to Birmingham Colmore Row, with stops at Pensnett Trading Estate, Russells Hall Hospital and Merru Hill along the route, is potentially facing the axe.

It is claimed that the bus service will instead run from Merry Hill to Birmingham Colmore Row, meaning that Gornal Wood, Pensnett Trading Estate and Russells Hall Hospital would be axed.

Judy Foster said is it vital that people have a bus service running between these areas, as they are especially used by school pupils and residents going to GP and hospital appointments.

She said: "I am being proactive and making a case with Transport for West Midlands who work with National Express, because there is a need for these services.

"I mentioned at the meeting about concerns in changes to Pensnett. These services need to be protected and are for essential journeys.

"In Pensnett in particular, there is a low car ownership and without the right bus service, people are going to have to rely on taxis, which is costly.

"This is further impacted because it coincides with something else that I have been campaigning about since 2020, where High Oak GP surgery was moved from Pensnett to Brierley Hill and so residents need the bus to be able to attend their appointments."

National Express West Midlands bosses recently vowed to improve bus services in the region, launching a 10-step plan amid a staffing crisis.

When asked if the X10 bus service will be cut at the end of the year, a spokesperson said in a statement: "In common with bus operators nationwide, we are experiencing a shortage of drivers, changes to the school day and lifestyles and fewer passengers; so we are currently reviewing our network.

"We will let the public know as soon as we are able to confirm the exact details of any changes."

Judy Foster said she hoped that Transport for West Midlands will be able to take on board the points made and then influence the decision of National Express.

She added: "Transport for West Midlands can influence their decisions, and so I've arranged a meeting with the bus manager to discuss a solution to protect and improve the existing services.

"We need to be able to get kids to school and people to their appointments for medical treatments."

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