Dudley & Sandwell proposed service changes

Following the consultation with customers and key stakeholders on possible changes to bus services in and around Dudley and Sandwell, National Express West Midlands are proposing a number of changes to the network which would take place in summer 2018. 

Summary of proposed changes

  • New express service (X7) between Birmingham, City Hospital, Smethwick, Oldbury, Dudley & Wolverhampton saving around 15 minutes each way between Oldbury and Birmingham compared to the 87.
  • Improved frequency between Dudley, Springfield, Blackheath and Birmingham on the X8, replacing the 140, and now limited stop along Hagley Road.
  • Platinum buses for Smethwick, Blackheath and Oldbury on the X7 and X8 – featuring free wifi and USB charging points.
  • Coordinated every 10 minutes fast service along Hagley Road on the X8 and X10.
  • Better coordination of buses along Hagley Road between the X8, 9 and X10 – buses now every 5 minutes.
  • More consistent service between Oldbury, Lion Farm and Blackheath on the new 3 and 3A (replacing the 120A and 289) – buses every 15 minutes, all stopping on the same side of the road in Oldbury.
  • New direct & regular links between Halesowen and Russells Hall Hospital and between Merry Hill and Gornal Wood on the X10 – buses every hour.
  • More buses between Warley and Oldbury on the new 13 (current 128) – now every 20 minutes.
  • More buses between Warley and Blackheath on the new 13A (current 127) – now every 20 minutes.
  • More buses in Oakham on the 12 & 12A (replacing the 120 and 121). Buses now coordinated to run every 10 minutes between Dudley and Oldbury.
  • More buses along Tower Road on the 12A – now every 20 minutes

Service changes by route

9 – Birmingham to Stourbridge

  • The timetable will be changed to improve reliability.
  • Buses will be timed to coordinate between Birmingham and Bearwood with the X10 and new X8 to provide a bus every 5 minutes along Hagley Road as far as Quinton.

X10 – Birmingham to Merry Hill and Pensnett

  • Buses will be extended every hour from Merry Hill to Brierley Hill High Street, Russells Hall Hospital, Pensnett and Gornal Wood with financial support from TfWM.
  • This extension will reinstate the direct link between Gornal Wood, Russells Hall Hospital and Merry Hill, something that many customers asked for in our initial consultation.
  • The extension to Gornal will provide direct, regular links between Halesowen and Russells Hall Hospital on weekdays and Saturdays, also something that was asked for in the consultation.
  • Buses will be timed to coordinate between Birmingham and Bearwood with the 9 and new X8 to provide a bus every 5 minutes along Hagley Road as far as Quinton.
  • Stopping places along Hagley Road will be changed. Fountain Road will no longer be served between Bearwood and Birmingham but Clive Road will additionally be served between Quinton and Bearwood.

120 – Dudley to Birmingham

  • The 120 will be renumbered to service 12 and will combine with the new 12A to provide an improved frequency of a bus every 10 minutes between Dudley, Oakham, Oldbury and Birmingham.
  • The route will remain unchanged. The 12 will run along City Road and the 12A along Tower Road.

120A – Blackheath to Birmingham

  • Between Blackheath and Oldbury, the 120A will be replaced by new services 3 and 3A. The 3 and 3A will also replace the 289.
  • The 3 and 3A will provide buses every 15 minutes between West Bromwich, Oldbury, Lion Farm and Blackheath. The 3 will then continue every 30 minutes to Merry Hill.
  • Between Oldbury and Blackheath, the 3 and 3A will both run along Portway Road, Newbury Lane, Martley Road, Shelsey Avenue and Throne Road. The 3 will then serve Portway Road and Hanover Road. The 3A will serve Stuart Road.
  • Between Oldbury and Birmingham, the 12 and 12A will continue to provide buses every 10 minutes.

121 – Dudley to West Bromwich

  • The 121 will be partly replaced by new service 12A.
  • The new 12A will run every 20 minutes between Dudley, Oakham, Oldbury and Birmingham. Between Dudley and Oldbury, buses will run along Oakham Road, City Road and Tower Road.
  • Darbys Hill Road and Wheatsheaf will no longer be served directly due to problems with parked cars and low trees (the 12A would use double decker buses). However, both the 12 and 12A will serve stops on Oakham Road and City Road for access to Wheatsheaf Road and Darbys Hill Road. If trees on Darbys Hill are pruned to allow access by double deck buses, the 12A would serve Darbys Hill Road instead of Oakham Road.
  • The frequency of buses along Tower Road will increase from every 30 minutes to every 20 minutes with new links to Birmingham.
  • Passengers travelling to West Bromwich will need to change buses in Oldbury from the 12 or 12A to the 3, 3A, 4, 4H or 4M.

126 – Wolverhampton to Birmingham

  • Between Birmingham and Dudley, the 126 will be replaced by new service 15.
  • The 15 will run to the same route as the 126 between Birmingham and Dudley but will be renumbered to fit with other services along Hagley Road. Buses will run every 15 minutes.
  • Between Wolverhampton and Dudley, the 126 will be replaced by new services X7 and X8. The X7 and X8 will combine to run every 10 minutes.
  • The X7 and X8 will both continue from Dudley to Birmingham along different routes and will not serve every bus stop to improve journey times.
  • The X7 will provide new express links between Dudley, Oldbury, Smethwick, City Hospital and Birmingham with through journeys to and from Wolverhampton. From Dudley, buses will run via New Birmingham Road, Portway Road, Oldbury Interchange, Birmingham Road, Oldbury Road, Crocketts Lane (for Smethwick High Street), Soho Way, Cranford Street and Spring Hill to Birmingham (Colmore Row).
  • The X8 will run via New Rowley Road, Springfield, Blackheath, Long Lane, Quinton and Hagley Road to Birmingham (Colmore Row).
  • The X7 and X8 will both be operated by ‘Platinum’ specification vehicles, bringing Platinum to Oldbury, Blackheath and Smethwick.

127 – Dudley to Birmingham

  • The 127 will be renumbered 13A to fit better with other services along Hagley Road.
  • The frequency of buses between Birmingham and Blackheath will be increased from every 30 to every 20 minutes.
  • Between Blackheath and Dudley, the 127 will be replaced by changes to the 241. The 241 will run between Halesowen, Blackheath, Oakham and Dudley, replacing the 127 to Dudley, although Mincing Lane and Bell End will no longer be served.
  • The route will change in Blackheath to cover parts of the 129. Buses will run along Hurst Green Lane, Narrow Lane, Masters Lane, Nimmings Road, Station Road and Oldbury Road.
  • Between the new 13 and 13A, buses will continue to run every 10 minutes between Warley, Bearwood and Birmingham.

128 – Oldbury to Birmingham

  • The 128 will be renumbered 13 to fit better with other services along Hagley Road.
  • The frequency of buses between Oldbury and Birmingham will be increased from every 30 to every 20 minutes.
  • Between the new 13 and 13A, buses will continue to run every 10 minutes between Warley, Bearwood and Birmingham.

129 – Merry Hill to Birmingham

  • The 129 will no longer run but will be replaced between Warley and Birmingham by the 13 and 13A (every 10 minutes) and partly replaced by the 13A between Blackheath and Warley.
  • The 13A will run along Hurst Green Lane, Narrow Lane, Masters Lane, Nimmings Road, Station Road and Oldbury Road to cover parts of the current 127 and 129.
  • Between Merry Hill and Cradley Heath, the 4M and X10 provide buses every 10 minutes. • Between Merry Hill and Blackheath, the 4M and new service 3 provide up to 5 journeys every hour.
  • National Express West Midlands will no longer provide a service along Perry Park Road or Codsall Road. TfWM are considering options to provide a replacement service in this area.

140 – Dudley to Birmingham

  • The 140 will be replaced by new service X8. To provide faster journeys, buses will not stop at every bus stop along Hagley Road.
  • The X8 will run up to every 20 minutes, meaning more buses for passengers between Springfield, Blackheath and Birmingham.
  • The X8 will continue from Dudley to Wolverhampton, providing new through journey opportunities.
  • The X8 will be operated by our ‘Platinum’ specification vehicles, offering free wifi and USB charging points.
  • Between Quinton and Birmingham, the X8 will coordinate with the X10 to provide a limited stop service every 10 minutes for most of the day.
  • The X8 will combine with the 9 and X10 to provide a bus every 5 minutes along Hagley Road as far as Quinton.

205 – Dudley to Kingswinford

  • The route of the 205 will be unchanged but the frequency will be reduced to every hour due to very low usage.
  • The X10 will be extended from Merry Hill to Russells Hall Hospital and Gornal Wood and will be timed to coordinate with the 205 between Pensnett Trading Estate and Russells Hall Hospital to provide a bus generally every 30 minutes on this section of route.

222 – Dudley to Merry Hill

  • Off peak journeys will divert between Pensnett and Brierley Hill to serve Wallows Road on a trial basis following customer requests. The whole length of Pensnett Road will not be served on affected journeys.
  • The 255 will continue to serve the affected section of Pensnett Road at all times of day.
  • Certain evening journeys may no longer run due to poor usage. TfWM are considering the implications of this possible change.

241 – Dudley to Halesowen

  • The route of the 241 will change between Dudley and Blackheath to cover most of the current 127. Buses will now run via Kate’s Hill, Regent Road, Oakham Road, Throne Road and Oldbury Road to Blackheath. Mincing Lane and Bell End would not be served.
  • We are considering whether alternate journeys on the 241 would divert along City Road, Poplar Road and Elm Terrace (which may replace the 208).
  • Between Dudley, Springfield and Blackheath, the current 241 will be replaced by new service X8, running every 20 minutes through to Wolverhampton and Birmingham with ‘Platinum’ specification buses featuring free wifi and USB phone charging.
  • Certain evening and Sunday journeys may no longer run due to poor usage. TfWM are considering the implications of this possible change.

289 – West Bromwich to Merry Hill.

  • The 289 will be replaced by new services 3 and 3A.
  • The 3 and 3A will provide buses every 15 minutes between West Bromwich, Oldbury, Lion Farm and Blackheath. The 3 will then continue every 30 minutes to Merry Hill.
  • Between Oldbury and Blackheath, the 3 and 3A will both run along Portway Road, Newbury Lane, Martley Road, Shelsey Avenue and Throne Road. The 3 will then serve Portway Road and Hanover Road. The 3A will serve Stuart Road.
  • To improve reliability, the 3 will not serve the double run along Moor Lane to Rowley Regis Hospital. However, the 4M will continue to serve Rowley Hospital every 20 minutes.
  • In Oldbury, the 3 and 3A will always stop on the library side of Church Street towards Blackheath. This will mean that all buses towards Lion Farm and Blackheath serve the same bus stop in Oldbury.

Full details including maps of the proposed new routes can be found on this PDF document of the consultation information.

The above proposals are not yet finalised, and National Express West Midlands are inviting passengers to submit their feedback; comments and suggestions for consideration should be emailed to services@nationalexpress.com

What are your thoughts?

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Responses

  1. One big issue is the hourly buses deemed ‘socially necessary”, while some do plug gaps well others do it less than well, some NX services have been withdrawn in the past however no socially necessary service has helped replacing parts of the route leaving gaps in the network and links in the network lost. So neither hourly buses have filled the gap and no NX rerouted to cover those gaps. These buses do tend to be hourly meaning connecting back is especially difficult. Many have few using them but again as they are hourly and dont run evenings they arent as useful (some only run to 5pm not much use if people finish work at 5pm). Most people dont want to use hourly buses and there is often a NX alternative in parts which is more frequent. Some services are missed out and nobody wants to wait an hour. Also they are run by other companies meaning those with NX passes cannot use them even if it goes where they want to and as some arent direct to places people want even the disabled and hourly are reluctant to use them those groups being the only ones whichcan use them as they have concessionary passes. Some routing on them is poor so run a similar area to NX despite there being a NX service right there and within a shorter walking distance when they could run down roads which lack some local destinations and cover parts currently without proper service to some places.

  2. Problem here is many people in Oldbury and Smethwick want to use local retail shops they dont simply want to go to West Brom or Birmingham all the time the facilities including post offices, trains and shops are here, there and everywhere. People dont mind getting two buses to say Birchley Island for the shops there but its often 3 buses and loads of walking just for local people. Same with facilities by Albion Ground or 2 buses from Bearwood to trains. Some buses need to be more local. People dont mind changing in Oldbury and Bearwood for a local bus home but there simply is a lack of local buses there should be local buses serving all bus rds in Smethwick and Oldbury as Oldbury and Bearwood as well as High St are important for shopping, facilities or simply swapping buses/trains for elsewhere. The current system is too tiring, too complicated and too time consuming. Its bizarre Bearwood being Smethwick’s main shopping and swapping section there isnt direct buses from all the bus rds. It would be useful to have good connections to the 120 which from some rds is hard to connect with you end up mostly carrying shopping back from Oldbury a good 20mins and if you can get them the walks from 89 and 48 arent short or easy walks either 89 being worse which is why we never use 89 under any circumstances., the 87 being worse to walk up from than 120.

  3. Most of this seems to be re-numbering the buses rather than changing the routes. Weird that it says “The 127 will be renumbered 13A to fit better with other services along Hagley Road.” because when I first moved round here 32 years ago, the buses were 126, 127, 128, 129, 136, 137, 138, 139 and 140 and the odd one out was the Number 9! Wouldn’t it have been easier to re-number the 9? And where does the appendix A fit it? Anytime we feel like it? Always late? After a long wait? Ah well?

  4. I don’t see the point in you taking the 205 down to every hour! I am one of many people that have to catch it everyday, it’s a joke that you ardon’t cutting it down to every hour cause the bus never even shows up in the first place bus is constantly late and then the bus drivers are rude! Should leave the bus running how it but making sure it’s on time, and getting them to run later!

  5. What welcome news, I use the buses along the
    Hagley Road from Quinton to Birmingham daily and we already have an excellent service never waiting any longer than 10 mins for a bus. The new schedule sounds great…..

  6. I volunteer to work with disadvantaged adults on pensnett trading estate. These people DO NOT take well to change. This will completely throw their lives into turmoil. Over the last 3-4years the bus to trading estate has been changed several times its now the 205. I get the 9.30 from dudley. It HAS NOT run on time for years. It ran more on time when it went all the way to blackheath. We have lost passengers due to road works and tje fact it runs way off timetable. So many times we have been left in dudley waitin as its been turned at russells hall hosp or even left waiting at pensnett because its been turned again at rhhosp back to dudley. The 7.45 am from r hall to kford is packed. On a night at 15.40 it is again rammed. Unfortunately its full with rowdy, bad mouthing teens who will not stop swearing etc when there are both old and young passengers. 1 young man thinks theres nowt wrong in shouting about his ni**ers. If I were to start talking like that i would b called racist. Tjey also will not move bage etc so others can sit down and we should dare to ask them to move gawd help us. At the min its the only bus that runs to kford serving the new aldi. We really hope that we dont lose our service from dudley to kingswimford. There are also a few older men that can only get this bus from russells hall estate to go and see their wives every day in homes in kford. You really need to get the buses running properly instead of messing them around

    1. The consultation document just states “Summer 2018”. As operators are required to give 56 days notice to the Office of The Traffic Commisioner to submit service changes, my best guess would be towards the end of August, as major service changes have taken place before during school holiday periods.

  7. Use the129 route frequently. Are they proposing to have no buses running along the 129 route from Bearwood to Hurst Green??

  8. The 87 and 82 have been dreadful lately, no idea when they’ll come (even first thing in the morning). Hopefully the new X7 route will help tjis and the massively overcrowded buses along these routes.

  9. So now I have to walk even further to my bus stop now 129 won’t be going up grafton Road thanks!!! Would be nice if u asked people’s opinions before making changes as we the public are the ones using ur buses so surely we shud have a say but it doesn’t matter as we are highly dependent on u so will just have to stick with it

  10. Still no direct bus from Netherton to Russells Hall Hospital or to Rowley Regis Hospital and still no bus from Nwtherton to Blackheath.

  11. Lots of pensioners use the 127 across mincing lane and bellend including my self I am disabled this bus was a god send as I am limited with mobility don’t know what I will do now

    1. I’m sorry to hear this, if you have any concerns regarding these changes I’d advise you to email National Express at services@nationalexpress.com with the subject “Dudley & Sandwell consultation 2018”. If there is sufficient demand then Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) may look to provide an alternative service. If you struggle with mobility you may also want to consider registering for the Ring And Ride service: http://www.ringandride.org/

      1. Thanks for prompt reply but why should I have to pay to go on ring and ride when I have a bus pass money is very tight

  12. 1. Frequency of 128 from 30 to 20 minutes sounds good, IF THEY TURN UP!
    2.The 129 to Merry Hill from Warley is a long journey which will be made worse if we have to change buses on the way.
    3. As well as not having to swap services half way, it would be nice to be able to do my shopping or go to the cinema at Merry Hill and return home to Warley later in the evening rather than afternoon tea time.

  13. So buses to and from Netherton via Darby End not only nothe mentioned but not improved. It’s nearly always late or doesn’t turn up. It should be more frequent than every hour.

  14. More confusion with changing service numbers and routes, especially with lack of continuity of existing routes necessitating changing buses part way through journey. The 121 West Bromwich to Dudley via Oldbury and Tower Road was well used.

  15. What about getting the 246 to run on time ?

  16. What about the 244 and 243 they are nearly always late or don’t turn up at all .the 244 needs to go back to every 20 minutes thankyou

  17. This is now going to cause so much hassle for me ans others around thisnarea not having a bus serve the bell end road going from dudley to Birmingham!

  18. Why change the 129. To merry hill and the other way to birmingham . Only bus from Grafton rd oldbury

  19. Still no link between Bearwood and Smethwick High Street (job center or Stoney lane)

    1. They should never have removed 444 and 450 fully they provided vital links for people from certain locations and none of the current services provide those links even the hourly buses. Tbh not sure NetworkWM care about people they said they want to provide better services for Warley yet havent provided anything B67 and B68 have generally poor links. They just told us we can get on two buses and walk up from 89 up sloped rds with a pile of shopping like to see them try it. And no links to trains including the Hawthorns which has the nearest Metro is ridiculous and helps people link to High St, Cape and Bearwood considering Bearwood is one of the main shopping areas in Smethwick. Lack of Oldbury services again strange considering its a main shopping centres for people in Smethwick too many West Brom and Birmingham services. People need West Brom but many equally need Bearwood and Oldbury and people in Bearwood need access to High St for facilities. Much of residentially Warley doesnt have many facilities so if you dont have a car you are struggling. Some people arent regular bus users but just want one so they can get to say Birmingham as its ‘handy’ and have a car otherwise. Many people though have no choice but to rely and use a bus for daily use so changes affect those people more. So much for connecting people.

    2. Stony Lane has gained buses at others expense. The sloped rds have lost out with the top with no high st buses for trains and 87 and shops and middle with lack of bearwood, 120 links and sloped rds are harder to walk, they have two west brom buses, two cape hill buses,two birmingham buses and a 120 link and its flatter and an easier walk from High St. They do need to give better service for sloped rds to make sure the links are good and equal to other rds a lot of people live off sloped rds. It is a postcode lottery currently.

  20. Still no bus linking bearwood to smethwick, or a bus to galton bridge from bearwood.To connect with trains we have to get 2 buses from bearwood

    1. Totally agree there its two buses from Bearwood to High St and trains and two buses for us to both Bearwood and Oldbury and have a hourly bus to 120 for doctors and shopping and doesnt run evenings so have long waits or long walks up sloped roads. Elderly mom cannot walk to alternatives, with alternatives very late or dont turn up, hourly buses are virtually useless connection wise coming back and many missed out, so connections to Bearwood, Oldbury, Blackheath and Langley are very poor atm. Dont think many people want two buses just for a Metro or train link. The connections need to be sorted most finish early, dont run evenings (so you cannot even go out after 7pm as lack of buses and worry you miss one), Many connections arent in West Brom but are in Bearwood and Oldbury and you end up going in one direction when you want the opposite direction taking double the time, people are having to go by train towards Blackheath. Sloped rds are poorly linked up, we have gone from 3 buses an hour and one evening to 120 to one bus an hour and nothing evenings. I like the idea of X7 but hope it doesnt bypass most of the High St/St Pauls as less will use it around there its a long walk for those not just off the High St otherwise and be difficult to connect with.

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