Save the 108 Bus Service! (New Hall to Birmingham)
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On 21/4/17 Diamond Buses Announced on their website that they would no longer be operating the 108 service from 30/5/17 and that Central Buses will be providing a “Partial replacement services” on the route.
Central Buses have yet to announce their intended service levels on a timetable but there have been some communications that indicate they plan to only provide 1 commuter bus each weekday:
- Inbound: Departing Newhall /Reddicap at 07:12
- Outbound: Departing from Birmingham at 17:25
This new “single bus” service will be unsuitable for the majority of passengers that currently make use of the service especially those who aim to commence work at 09:00 and finish at 17:30 each day.
For many existing passengers living in the New Hall / Walmley / Minworth area there are no alternative bus routes available nearby that can offer the same service.
As a passenger who lives closer to Minworth Asda than Walmley, only the X4 departing at 07:36 would see me in Birmingham before 09:00, but this takes a full 1 hour 12 minutes to complete its trip as it takes an improbably scenic tour of Sutton Coldfield to be enjoyed by all those aiming to do a days work in Birmingham
The 108 service represents the quickest route into Birmingham for those in Walmley, New Hall and beyond. For those who will have to undertake the additional journey to Walmley to board the X14 will face longer journey times as the route encompasses Erdington / Kingsbury road / Gravely Hill North (A5127) which, incidentally, is already served by the 66, X3, X4 and X5 services.
The loss / reduction of the 108 places extra cost pressures on the local communities that make use it, denies many of those without their own private transport a viable alternative and is likely to force those people with cars to use them; adding to the severe congestion and air pollution problems face by the city. For most people including myself even the reduced service proposed by Central is not suitable.
I would urge Diamond to reconsider the termination of this vital service and look at alternative ways to make it viable. e.g. reduction of the current service; is the 6.30am and 8.45am services essential?, What about the 4.05pm, 4.35pm and 6.20pm? Have these questions even been considered? To my knowledge no consultation has been undertaken.
Equally I would also ask Central Buses to review their intended partial service and ask that they provide more regular buses catering to the many commuters intending to start work in Birmingham at 09:00 and finish after 17:30.
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