Express & Star

Further changes to Blakenall and Bloxwich bus services after more anti-social behaviour

Further changes to bus services are being made in the Blakenall and Bloxwich area due to incidents of anti-social behaviour.

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Buses are being diverted and some services suspended at night after anti social behaviour in Blakenall and Bloxwich

Chaserider and Walsall Community Transport (WCT) have diverted and suspended some services at certain times and National Express West Midlands bosses are considering doing the same if their drivers and passengers continue to be targeted by stone-throwing youngsters.

The Express & Star reported earlier this month about anti-social behaviour around Bloxwich Road and Harden Road resulting in National Express's 29 service from Walsall to Blakenall having to divert because of the danger to drivers and passengers.

Now the Chaserider service 19 from Walsall to Bloxwich via Blakenall has been suspended after dark, with the last buses operating at 3pm.

In addition, the WCT 23 service from Bloxwich to Brownhills will divert and not serve Livingstone Road, Valley Road and Victoria Avenue and the 25 from Kingstanding to Bloxwich will divert and not serve a number of roads including Goscote Road, Slacky Lane, Harden Road, Chestnut Road and Hawbush Road.

Councillor Izzy Hussain, who serves the Blakenall ward, said he regretted the decisions - which would inconvenience a number of people of all ages from schoolchildren to pensioners because of the timings of the diversions and suspensions - but it was due to a small minority of young people.

He said: "They will suffer because of this and I can totally understand the bus companies' decision.

"The safety and well being of their staff and the security of the vehicles is paramount.

"I would urge people not to indulge in this behaviour and encourage the parents or guardians of young ones to know where they are and what they are up to at all times. I hope to speak to the bus companies to try and make alternative arrangements for the people who are inconvenienced by these changes."

Police recently cracked down on anti-social behaviour by implementing a section 35 dispersal order for 48 hours in the Ryecroft Cemetery and Coalpool area, increasing the number of officers in the area and making arrests.

A spokesman for National Express West Midlands said: “A number of services have been diverted in recent weeks due to recurring issues with anti-social behaviour targeted at buses.

"This type of behaviour is totally unacceptable. It means our customers are without service and are unable to use a bus while we're repairing the damage caused to vehicles.

"We are working closely with the police to identify those involved and to tackle this behaviour. We may continue to divert services if it becomes necessary to protect the safety of our customers and our drivers.

“Customers should check for up-to-date information on any changes to services on the day."