As you may be aware, National Express made major changes to the bus services in July 2018, which really upset many of our residents. The 61 bus is a staple of Frankley, people reply on it to get to work, visit Hollymoor doctors or see family and friends. So soon after being elected as your City Councillor, I ran a very aggressive campaign to get it back!
In early 2019 National Express finally listened to me, stating that they were prepared to trial an altered 61 route through Frankley, but not until the Birmingham Cycle Revolution roadwork’s had finished in Spring 2019. They then agreed to trail an extended route until Summer 2019 when they would judge this route on passenger numbers and reliability.
Throughout this time I have consistently advised residents to keep using the bus to avoid losing them, mentioning this in every newsletter and I have continued to put pressure on Nation Express for an update for you. Today, I am happy to announce that I have finally received that confirmation, and they have released the following statement on request:
After extensive public consultation, National Express West Midlands made major changes to the bus routes in south Birmingham in July last year. This was to cater for emerging travel hotspots, and to help overcome increasing traffic congestion and the resulting slower journey speeds. Since then, National Express West Midlands has listened to feedback from residents about that altered 61 route. So in spring 2019, we started to trial a slightly altered 61 route through Frankley.
We are pleased to confirm that we are happy with the overall patronage and reliability of the 61 as it currently is – and we have no plans to make any more changes to it in the near future.
I would like to thank all the residents who took part in this campaign, to everyone who kept using the service as often as possible and to everyone who wrote to National Express to express concern. We showed that these buses are a vital part to our community. Well done!