A local councillor who has campaigned for recent changes to bus routes in Frankley to be reverted has said that National Express have agreed to trial an extension to the 61 bus route.
The extension which will reconnect many living on the Frankley estate to services they had been cut off from eg Hollymoor doctors and it is hoped that the trial will begin in spring.
Cllr Simon Morrall (Frankley Great Park, Con) said:
“National Express made major changes to the buses in July which upset many of our residents.
“Since then I have ran a strong campaign to return the service back as it has created a lot of distress for residents, especially these at the back of Frankley who rely on the 61 service to get to Hollymoor doctors.”
“I managed to get them to change the 63 back in summer, which was originally proposed to terminate on Romany Road. However, I kept the pressure on for a solution to the 61.”
“Frankley is one of the most deprived areas of the city, people rely on these services and I strongly urged them to reconsider their proposals, or at the very least, extend the services they already have.”
“I kept forwarding resident complaints onto National Express, alongside a cover letter expressing my outrage.
“In the summer, I wrote a newsletter to every household in Frankley asking residents to complain directly to National Express and to keep putting the pressure on.
“In December, they called me back for another meeting, and I’m happy to announce after months of campaigning, they have finally listened, and are prepared to make changes in the Spring/ summer of 2019.”
In a statement, National Express said:
After extensive public consultation, National Express West Midlands made major changes to the bus routes in south Birmingham in July. This was to cater for emerging travel hotspots, and to help overcome increasing traffic congestion and the resulting slower journey speeds.
National Express West Midlands has listened to feedback about the new 61 route.
We don’t want to make any changes while the Birmingham Cycle Revolution construction work is still going on. But when these roadworks have finished – which should be spring 2019 – National Express West Midlands is prepared to trial a slightly altered 61 route through Frankley. This trial would run until summer 2019, when we will judge the altered route on passenger numbers and reliability to see whether to make it permanent.
The Birmingham Cycle Revolution roadworks on the Bristol Road made National Express West Midlands’ 61 and 63 unreliable over the summer and early autumn. Since the first week of November, we have added vehicles to these two routes and changed the schedule to give the buses more time. We’ve also stationed inspectors in town – they monitor the gaps and send the buses back out again at more regular intervals. This way, even if services get a bit late, customers at least don’t have to wait too long for the next bus.