National Express West Midlands is currently consulting on possible changes to bus services in South Birmingham and there are real concerns bus services, including the 27, could be reduced or cancelled altogether.
Tackling congestion or running down local services?
National Express has said changes are required in order to tackle the rising congestion on the network, which means that some bus routes are 10 minutes slower than they were just three years ago.
National Express is seeking views on proposed changes to all bus bus routes between Bristol Road and Warwick Road, including the Number 27 bus route. A statement on the bus company’s website reads:
The solutions will vary according to local circumstances. This might mean faster journeys by following different routes and new express routes which cut journey times by skipping some stops. It might mean splitting long routes that are prone to delays, so passengers in quieter areas are not delayed by traffic several miles away.
Cllr Mary Locke and the Bournville Labour recognise that congestion is a problem but are concerned that the issue may be used to justify cut vital bus services, making it more difficult for local people to get to work and visit friends and family.
Have your say
We encourage everyone to stand up for local bus services by taking part in National Express West Midland’s survey. The closing date is Monday 21 August but please don’t leave it to the last minute to take part.
Cllr Mary Locke will be keeping a close eye on the consultation and doing everything she can to make sure the views of local people are properly listened to.
We need public ownership of bus services
As things stand, National Express West Midlands, a private company, is free to run its bus service as it likes, even if the changes it introduces are bad for local people. We believe this is wrong.
Both Cllr Mary Locke and Steve McCabe MP support the We Own It campaign to allow local authorities to establish public bus companies. Public bus companies, which operates in Nottingham and Reading, are accountable to local people rather than shareholders. They put the needs of local people over profit.
Earlier this year, the Tory government in Westminster managed to push through a bill banning local authorities from setting up new public bus companies, despite places like Nottingham and Reading showing how successful and popular publicly owned bus companies can be.
Faced with cuts to local bus services from private companies such as National Express, local people should have the options of establishing a publicly run bus service that better meets their needs.
Cllr Mary Locke and the Bournville Labour Party team will keep you updated on proposed change to bus services in South Birmingham and continue to make the case for public ownership of public services.