Changes to some Solihull services – 25th February 2019

Changes to some Solihull services – 25th February 2019

January 11, 2019 Off By Stu

Following a consultation that took place last year on the future of some subsidised bus services in the Solihull area, a number of changes will be taking place from Monday 24th February 2019.

The ‘Signature’ brand from Diamond Buses is being dropped, as Diamond lose a number of contracts, and services retained by Diamond will be operated by their regular ‘blue’ buses.

The following information is taken from the Diamond Buses website:

Service S1 – Solihull to Damsonwood Circular

This service will be renumbered to A1. Diamond will continue to operate this service, but with changes to the route and timetable.

Service S2 – Cheswick Green to Dorridge

This service will no longer be operated by Diamond Bus.
There will be changes to the route and timetable for this service, which will become a circular route also covering Hockley Heath and Blythe Valley. Service will be renumbered A6 (for short journeys between Solihull and Cheswick Green), A7 and A8. Service will be operated by Landflight.

Service S3 / S3W – Hockley Heath to Dickens Heath / Wythall

This service will no longer be operated by Diamond Bus. There will be changes to the route and timetable for this service.
S3 eastern part will be replaced by service A3 between Solihull and Dorridge. S3 western part and S3W will be replaced by service A4 from Solihull to Inkford Brook and A5 from Solihull to Dickens Heath. Both services will be operated by Landflight

Service S11 – Solihull Circular (via Buryfield Road)

This service will be renumbered to A2. Diamond will continue to operate this service, but with changes to the route and timetable.

Service S15 – Solihull Circular (via Widney Lane)

This service will no longer be operated by Diamond Bus.
The S15 will be withdrawn and will be covered by amendments to service 69 (operated by igo) which will extend into Solihull along Monkspath Hall Road.

Service 82 – Solihull to Coventry

This service will no longer be operated by Diamond Bus and will be taken over by Johnsons, with minor timetable changes.

Service 88 – Solihull to Balsall Common

This service will no longer be operated by Diamond Bus and will be taken over by Johnsons. There will be changes to the route and timetable for this service.

There is no change to service 30 (Solihull to Acocks Green), this will continue to be operated by Diamond Buses.


Johnsons have already announced that they will be taking over the contracts for the 82 and 88 services, and their current service 87 (Solihull to Coventry) is to be amended from the same date to serve the JLR site at Fen End. The 88 service will also be amended to serve the JLR site, while a new 88A variant will cover the existing direct route between Knowle and Balsall Common currently used by the 87.


It will certainly be interesting to see how the new subsidised bus network looks in Solihull, and it is interesting to note that the new contracts that Landflight have won are for five years, rather than the usual two year period.

Who are Landflight?

An Alexander Dennis Enviro 200 MMC bus which meets the Euro 6 emission standards required for the proposed CAZ in Solihull and Birmingham

Landflight previously operated public bus services under their old ‘Silverline’ name, and currently operate the S10 service between Solihull and Cranes Park. They previously used to operate service S9 (Solihull to Blythe Valley Business Park) before it became a staff-only service, as well as service 36 (Sparkbrook to Heartlands Hospital).

I must admit it is wholly commendable to see a ‘smaller’ bus operator commit to tendered contacts and to be investing in brand new vehicles, as well as creating new job opportunities in the area; at the time of writing, Landflight were looking to recruit 20 new drivers.

The future…

While I wish both Landflight and Johnsons all the best with their new contract wins, the long-term hope must surely be that they can grow passenger numbers on their services to a level where subsidies are either not necessary, or are substantially reduced.

The simple message is “use it or lose it”. No-one wants to see a situation where taxpayers money is being used to pay for buses to run around empty. Hopefully though these changes will have taken into consideration passengers needs enough to get people using these services more regularly, and to get them paying for themselves. Otherwise come five years time, it could be complete withdrawal, rather than just a few tweaks.


Further details on the new routes will be available here once they have been officially published by Transport for West Midlands (TfWM).