Thursday, August 09, 2007

Making the buses better

Ward councillor Jon Hunt was appointed lead member for bus and highways at the West Midlands passenger transport authority a few weeks ago.

Jon reports here:
This doesn't mean I'm running the buses but does give me a key role in pushing for improvements. It's not rocket science - people will use buses if they are reliable, safe and comfortable.

We've been pushing through the city council for some time for these things to happen in face of steep falls in the number of bus users.

I've been pleased to be involved in my first few weeks in promoting a new ground-breaking partnership with Travel West Midlands. This involves TWM and the PTA/Centro investing in six routes to see what achievements can be achieved.

This has been approved by the PTA and a signing with TWM is imminent. The project involves more buses on some routes, new and refurbished buses, electronic signing, including some of the new electronic interchange signs and new bus stops. You can see one at the Fox and Goose - it's as good as the displays at New Street Station. There will also be text messaging available to find out how buses are doing and CCTV at bus stops.

Several of the affected routes pass through this ward, travelling from parts of Walsall down the Aldridge Road to One Stop. Here's the list:

Route 1, Acocks Green to Moseley and Five Ways. Changed from every 20 minutes to 12 minutes with further improvements at weekends.

377: Walsall to Sutton Coldfield, 20 to 12 minutes.

934: Birmingham to Pheasey via Kingstanding. From 30 minutes to 20.

933: Birmingham to Streetley via Kingstanding. From 30 minutes to 20.

997: Birmingham to Aldridge and Walsall. From 20 minutes to 15.

451: West Bromwich to Sutton Coldfield via Scott Arms. Improved buses and stops.

The three 934, 933 and 997 routes are likely to get new buses with good air conditioning, I understand.

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