National Express West Midlands is asking people in the south of the city to help them make the bus service better.
The bus operator is working with Birmingham City Council and Transport for West Midlands to tackle traffic congestion. And they are asking people to have a say in the decision-making process.
Managing Director of National Express West Midlands, Tom Stables, says: “We want to provide fast, reliable and punctual bus journeys. But traffic in south Birmingham gets worse every month. This makes the buses slower. Some routes are now 10 minutes slower than they were three years ago. In the last three years, we’ve had to use 47 more buses to run the same routes – just more slowly.
“This puts people off travelling by bus, and that’s bad for the economy and for social inclusion. Or people switch to cars, which makes congestion and pollution worse.
“Congestion also brings higher fares. If traffic was at the level it was in 2014, we could put the fares back to what we charged in 2014.”
National Express West Midlands is looking into possibly changing routes in south Birmingham, as well as things like re-timing traffic lights, putting in bus gates or extending bus lanes to free up traffic pinchpoints.
The area being looked at is the patch between the Bristol Road and the Warwick Road. It also includes Longbridge, Rubery, Frankley and Allens Cross.
Tom Stables added: “The solutions will depend on local circumstances. With bus services, it could mean faster journeys that take different routes, and new express routes which cut journey times by skipping some stops. It might mean splitting long routes, so passengers in quieter areas are not delayed by traffic several miles away.
“Please tell us what you think is the best option. You can fill out the consultation on the NX Bus website. Or there are paper copies at our travelshops, bus stations and community centres.”
The south Birmingham consultation: http://nxbus.co.uk/west-midlands/information/service-changes/south-birmingham-consultation