September 25th, 2016

Anger as Cofton Hackett part of 45 bus route is axed ‘without consultation’

Anger as Cofton Hackett part of 45 bus route is axed ‘without consultation’ Anger as Cofton Hackett part of 45 bus route is axed ‘without consultation’
Updated: 3:21 pm, Oct 08, 2015

POLITICIANS have expressed their anger after, they say, a bus service which runs on the Bromsgrove-Birmingham border was changed without any consultation.

The 45 bus, operated by National Express without any subsidy from Centro, used to go to Cofton Hackett but no longer does after a letter from Bromsgrove MP Sajid Javid led to the operator altering the route.

Mr Javid said wrote to National Express after being contacted by constituents living on the route who voiced concerns over the number of buses using the terminus and the lack of facilities for drivers.

“I was contacted by my constituents about problems with the number 45 and I am pleased that National Express have listened.

“If constituents have any related concerns, I welcome them getting in touch with me.”

But the move has been slammed Bromsgrove District Councillor Peter McDonald, who represents Rubery, Coun Andy Cartwright, the Birmingham City Councillor for Longbridge and Northfield MP Richard Burden who have all received numerous complaints from the residents they represent.

They say none of them were told about the changes and only found out about them when residents began to complain.

John Hayes, the area manager of transport operations for Birmingham South, sent a letter to Coun Cartwright after being asked about the changes.

It stated: “The best alternative option would be for passengers to use the 47 to the stops at the junction of Longbridge Lane with Coombes Lane and then either walk to the town centre or catch service 49.

“We do however appreciate this option may not be appropriate for all passengers.”

He added he would be speaking to National Express to see what other alternatives would be available.

But Coun Cartwright said that meant those living by the terminus, in Ten Ashes Lane, Cofton Hackett, would have to walk almost two miles to Coombes Lane to get a bus.

“Many of the people who use the bus are elderly and would struggle to walk that far.”

He said for some that bus was the only way they could get to their doctors’ surgery or to get to Longbridge and Northfield town centres.

“Surely with something like this, there should be a consultation with residents.”

Mr Burden echoed those calls, saying: “National Express have not consulted me about this at all.

“The first I heard about this was when Birmingham residents living on the Rednal Triangle/Lickey Road have been in touch with this week to complain about the sudden removal of the number 45 bus.

“That bus has been a key link for people, particularly older people, to get to the shops at the new Longbridge Town Centre.”

Coun Cartwright has now called for the route to be reinstated to Cofton Hackett.

“With the development of Longbridge Town Centre, this bus is going to be needed even more than it is now.

“We need to increase public transport options, not reduce them.”