Service Changes – October 27th 2019

Service Changes – October 27th 2019

September 28, 2019 25 By Stu

From Sunday 27th October 2019, there will be a number of service changes taking place, mostly due to TfWM contract tender wins. In many cases all that will change is the operator of the service, though there may also be timetable and/or minor route changes taking place at the same time.

Diamond were the first operator to announce changes, the list below will be updated as more information gets published. Additional information obtained from other sources.

  • Updated 08/10/2019 with information from NX West Midlands website.
  • Updated 09/10/2019 with notification of no change to 91A/91C services
  • Final update 21/10/19

5 – Dudley to Wall Heath

  • Diamond will no longer operate this service
  • Sunday journeys now withdrawn

10 – Birmingham to Quinton

  • The terminus on Colmore Row will move to stop SH1 – the same stop as service 24
  • From Four Dwellings School buses will now operate direct from Quinton Road West onto Simmons Drive
  • At the end of Simmons Drive, buses will then operate along Quinton Road West to Hopedale Road and serve Faraday Avenue & Firsby Road before rejoining the current route from West Boulevard.

10H – Birmingham to Quinton

  • Service revised to operate between Birmingham city centre and QE Hospital only

10S – Quinton to Northfield

  • Service curtailed to operate between Quinton and Selly Oak only
  • From Four Dwellings School buses will now operate direct from Quinton Road West onto Simmons Drive
  • At the end of Simmons Drive, buses will then operate along Quinton Road West to Hopedale Road and serve Faraday Avenue & Firsby Road before rejoining the current route from West Boulevard
  • There will be a small route change in Selly Oak – buses will now operate a one-way loop serving Gibbins Road & Lodge Hill Road to get to the terminus at Oak Tree Lane. 
  • Times have been completely revised throughout the week

18 – Merry Hill to Dudley

  • Diamond will no longer operate this service on Sundays
  • NX West Midlands will operate Sunday journeys alongside the regular Monday to Saturday service.

19 – Maypole to Rubery

  • Diamond will no longer operate this service
  • New operator will be Kevs Car & Coaches. Slight timetable changes which includes the same timetable Monday to Saturday instead of the present different Saturday. Also will be terminating at Morrisons instead of Great Park in order to give passengers more choice

36 – Heartlands Hospital to Sparkhill

  • NX West Midlands will no longer operate this service
  • New operator will be Claribels, no change to route or timetable

53 – Erdington to Smiths Wood

  • Diamond will no longer operate this service
  • Route is revised and will operate between Birmingham city centre and Smiths Wood. Between city centre and Saltley Viaduct it will follow the current 55 and 94 route, and will then operate to Smiths Wood as per the current route, the section between Saltley and Erdington is being withdrawn due to low passenger numbers.
  • New operator will be Evergreen (Thandi Coaches)
  • New route and timetable shown on BusTimes.org website

54 / 54A – West Bromwich to Worlds End (Quinton)

  • Diamond will no longer operate these services
  • New operator will be NX West Midlands
  • There will be a minor change of route in the Brandhall area – buses will now operate via Tame Road instead of Brennand Road.
  • Every other journey on the 54 will now operate as service 54A – this service will operate from Thimblemill Road via Londonderry (Queens Head), Bristnall Hall Lane, Salop Road, Eva Road & Hill Top Road to Warley, The George replacing service 55 on this section of the route.
  • Certain journeys on the 54A will extend from Worlds End to Quinton Tesco
  • These journeys will operate via Higgins Lane towards Quinton & return via Quinton Road West, Hopedale Road & Faraday Avenue.
  • Sunday journeys currently operated by Diamond as service 54A, will operate as service 54, but will continue to operate direct along Norman Road.

55 – Brandhall to Cape Hill

  • Diamond will no longer operate this service which is being withdrawn
  • Partly replaced by new 54A service, see above


Comment

Following the demise of igo earlier this year, it is certainly interesting to see how the ‘battleground’ for tendered TfWM contracts has changed.

As the largest bus operator in the region, National Express (NX Bus) has mainly kept itself away from bidding aggressively for tenders, apart from where a tender may compliment their current commercial operation. The field was up until recently dominated by the smaller bus operators, in particular igo and Diamond.

It will be interesting to see in this latest round of service tenders who Diamond have lost out to, as I am so far aware of only one contract being won by NX Bus (54 / 54A) ahead of them. With igo no longer on the field, the opportunity is there for other smaller operators, such as Kevs Car & Coaches who’ve won the 19 contract and are expanding in south-west Birmingham, as well as Claribels in east Birmingham and Landflight, who scooped a number of tenders in the Solihull area earlier this year.