People living in South Birmingham are to benefit from an improved bus network which will better connect them with several new developments taking place in the area including the city’s new Super Hospital.
Transport authority Centro and bus operator National Express West Midlands, in consultation with Birmingham City Council, have finalised a series of changes to routes in South Birmingham to build on the already extensive transport network in the area.
The aim is to deliver a modern bus network which enhances the quality of travel for residents and visitors and attracts people out of their cars, following the strategy set out in Centro’s groundbreaking transport vision Transforming Bus Travel.
The changes, which will come into affect from 25 October 2009, cover an area running from Warstock in the east, to Weoley Castle in the west, including Alcester, Pershore and Bristol Roads.
The new network aims to address the changing travel needs of residents across the region boosting accessibility and improving transport links to a number of key regeneration projects.
It will also allow for future growth at the Longbridge and Bournville College redevelopment sites and the new Queen Elizabeth Hospital which will become the city’s second largest employer when it opens next summer.
- New direct bus links to the new QE hospital from Pool Farm, Hawkesley, Primrose Hill, Kings Norton, Cotteridge, Bournville, Frankley, Holly Hill, Maypole, Yardley Wood, Billesley, Kings Heath, Selly Park and Bournbrook;
- Improved links to education facilities such as Cadbury Sixth Form College and Birmingham University which has over 30,000 staff and students on site every day;
- A direct bus service from Holly Hill Road in Frankley to Birmingham city centre;
- Improved links to Wythall, Rubery and Pool Farm
- All National Express West Midlands buses and Centro subsidised services run by low floor easy access buses helping people with limited mobility or young children board the bus (around 250 vehicles in total).
- 245 upgraded bus shelters to provide an enhanced waiting environment for passengers
- Increased evening and Sunday services
The review will help to simplify bus routes that have been in place across South Birmingham for over 20 years to give an easier to understand network that takes people where they want to go, when they want to go.
Bus services will also be better co-ordinated so that bus services are timed to complement each other as well as local rail services.
Over 200,000 residents in South Birmingham will receive a leaflet through their doors over the next two weeks detailing the bus service improvements.
The changes were finalised using feedback from the four week public consultation in July and August as well as comments from schools, community groups, local councillors and other stakeholders.
Cllr Jon Hunt, lead member for Bus & Highways at Centro, said: “At present, there is a real surge of regeneration taking place in South Birmingham with projects like the new super hospital and the redevelopment of Longbridge providing a real opportunity to boost the economy, attractiveness and employment prospects of the area.
“If we are going to make the most of these development projects for people and businesses, we need to make sure the transport connections are fit for purpose and attractive for both existing and potential passengers.
“This means clean, modern, reliable and safe services that take people where they want to go quickly and easily and reflect today’s travel patterns in what is increasingly becoming a 24/7 society.”
Neil Barker, Director of Bus and coach for National Express added: “South Birmingham is home to some of our city’s largest employers, developments and education centres so it’s vital the bus network provides high quality, regular services with connections to destinations across the region.
“This review will deliver a modernised bus network for South Birmingham based on our customer feedback as well as comments from local residents and organisations. From 25 October residents will benefit from more low floor, easy access buses, increased services across several routes and a transport system capable of growing alongside future developments in South Birmingham.”
Cllr Len Gregory, Cabinet Member for Transportation and Street Services at Birmingham City Council concluded: “Improving accessibility and how the city’s transport networks operate is a key objective of the Council’s Big City Plan, so we are delighted to be involved in this project.
“By combining an ever more efficient bus service with the on-going improvements being made to the city’s road, air and rail networks we believe we can deliver a much improved integrated and user focussed public transport network.”
More information on the changes can be found at www.networkwestmidlands.com/busreview where route timetables will also be posted when they become available.
Before the new services start on October 25, there will be 14 public information exhibitions across the area, where people can go along and get information about the changes from representatives from Centro and National Express. Details of the exhibitions are available on the Network West Midlands website.
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