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Bus users in South Birmingham are being urged to have their say on major changes planned to bus services in the area. Transport campaigner Kevin Chapman reports.

Transport authority Centro and bus operators are drawing up plans for a revised network of routes, taking into account proposals for new development (such as the new “Super Hospital” at the Queen Elizabeth and the regeneration of the former MG Rover site in Longbridge).

The work is being done as part of the “Transforming Bus Travel” project, in which Centro and bus operators including National Express West Midlands have entered into a voluntary agreement to share information and improve services.

Similar reviews were undertaken in Dudley and Solihull last year, resulting in an amended network.

The plans will be launched at a public meeting tomorrow and users will be invited to comment on the various options over the summer, with implementation proposed for the end of September.

Kevin Chapman of West Midlands Campaign for Better Transport said: “It is vital that users have their say on these plans.

“We hope that Centro and the bus operators will consult with passengers in South Birmingham over the coming months, and the comments and ideas of passengers will be taken into account when shaping the new network.”

He added: “There is a need to look at improving the links into the Queen Elizabeth Hospital site and make better interchange here.

“We also hope this work brings a dramatic improvement in the quality of service on some routes, while some services (such as the 50) are excellent many are not good and reliability on some routes is poor.

“There is also a trend of bus operators re-routing services because of reliability problems, often inconveniencing passengers.”

“The new network should deliver high quality services and meet future needs resulting from developments at places like Longbridge. However it is vital that it meets the needs of existing passengers, and they need to be involved in this process”.

The plans will be launched at a special meeting of Birmingham Transport Users Forum, which will be held next Wednesday 10th June at Stirchley Community School on the Pershore Road in Stirchley.

The venue is served by the 45 and 47 bus services. More information about the meeting and the South Birmingham Network review can be obtained by E-Mailing or telephoning (0121) 214 7214 during office hours.



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