Three bus routes withdrawn as Transport for West Midlands changes to come into effect next month
Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) has announced details of changes to bus services from October.
Earlier this month it was announced that the region’s bus service network would be secured at near current levels and continue to operate without radical change until January 2025, following a £40 million injection of support funding from TfWM.
However, it was noted that a small number of services which do not provide value for money would need to be changed to focus resources where they are most needed.
Although the vast majority of the region’s 394 regular bus services remain unaffected – there will be changes to 32 services, some will have timetable changes, some new operators and three services are to be withdrawn.
TfWM says this is due to low passenger numbers, higher operating costs and changes in travel patterns which means they no longer provide value for money for the taxpayer.
The changes are set to begin from October 29, and the services to be withdrawn are:
25 – Bromford to Erdington Six Ways. Services covering the area include the X12 Birmingham to Solihull via Chelmsley Wood; X13 Birmingham to Chelmsley Wood via Castle Bromwich; 28 Heartlands Hospital to Great Barr via Erdington; 11A / 11C Birmingham Outer circle.
600 – Brookvale to Erdington Circular. The area is covered by the number 7 Birmingham to Perry Common via Witton; 11A / 11C Birmingham Outer circle; 65 Birmingham to Perry Common via Short Heath.
19 – Tile Hill to Coventry via Cannon Park Shopping Centre / Westwood Business Park. The route is partially replaced by the number 2.
The ring and ride service can also provide an alternative for those who are eligible.
Pete Bond, director of integrated transport services for TfWM, said: “Buses are the backbone of our public transport network, enabling people to get to work, education and training opportunities, visit hospitals and health services or enjoy a trip to the shops, a hobby or a day or night out with friends and family.
“They are also an essential part of plans to decarbonise our transport and reduce traffic congestion, improve our air quality and grow our region’s economy. That is why it was imperative we both put the extra funding into preserving our network and review value for money for taxpayers on what we are providing already.
“We have given ourselves time and must now get to work with our partners to develop a long-term sustainable future for our bus services. In the meantime, we are, with our operators and council partners, continuing to invest in new infrastructure, including a new bus station at Dudley and more electric and hydrogen buses to further improve the service to passengers.”
The changes are mostly to services operated under subsidy from TfWM following the annual review of contracts. Subsidies are provided for services which are not commercially viable but are deemed socially necessary.
As these already receive public funding they are not covered by the new bus service protection agreement. However, they do need to meet long-standing value for money rules that are needed to justify the use of taxpayers’ money.TfWM says that unfortunately the three services being withdrawn no longer meet those rules.
Customers are being advised to follow the links to TfWM's website for the forthcoming changes to services, including suggested alternative routes. Visit tfwm.org.uk/service-changes