Thanks to documents that have been obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, I can reveal that cuts to the number 27 service, operating between Hawkesley and Maypole via Northfield and Kings Heath, are potentially coming on a Sunday from late April 2018, leaving Maypole with no service to Bourneville and Northfield on the seventh day of the week.
As part of the socially necessary tender requirements, bus operators have been asked to submit bids on three options, with two of them featuring devastating cuts to the service.
The 27 currently has a passenger count of 1,110 passengers on its current Sunday service (figure counted on 5th November 2017), equating to an average of 23 passengers a trip, however the cuts that may be happening look to reduce the number of people boarding the service.
Under the first option, Transport for the West Midlands have asked operators to submit bids based on the current timetable, leaving a full service for Maypole.
The second option, however, would mean that passengers who wanted to board between Maypole and Kings Heath on the routes current routing would, in some cases lose their bus service on Sundays, as the number 27 bus service would be running between King’s Heath and Hawkesley via Northfield only. This would still run at a half hourly frequency, however will suffer from any traffic that the service will encounter as there will be no chance to “drop back” from any delays.
The third option is the most drastic of the cuts, as the number 27 will be running between Northfield, Bournville and King’s Heath only, meaning that passengers who live in parts of West Heath and Hawkesley will have no buses on a Sunday, or will be required to walk to use other routes, which in some cases will require an extra fare. In this scenario, Northfield railway station would also lose its bus service, which would affect passengers during times of disruption on the Cross City South service. This timetable will still retain the half hourly frequency.
There is no guarantee that the cuts will not go ahead, but Transport for the West Midlands may take it on board. I will endeavour to keep readers up to date as it the decision comes in.
Do you use the service? If so, what will the impact on your journeys be if these cuts go ahead? Please comment below with your opinions.