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28th Jun, 2022

144 LATEST - Campaign stepped up to save bus route to Birmingham with letters, petitions and a council motion

Tristan Harris 14th Apr, 2022 Updated: 14th Apr, 2022

THE CAMPAIGN to save the stretch of the 144 bus route from Catshill to Birmingham has been stepped up with petitions and a motion being put forward for the next Bromsgrove District Council meeting.

We broke the story last week about First Worcester’s plans to terminate the service at Catshill from May 1.

Shocked bus users have rushed to sign the online petition and the Standard’s inbox was inundated with letters from people concerned about how they would get to work, college or medical appointments.

Some of those letters can be read on pages eight and nine and we have submitted them to First Worcester, Worcestershire County Council, councillors and MP Sajid Javid.

Ideas which have been mooted include terminating the 144 in Rubery or Longbridge instead of Catshill so people could get other buses or trains to Birmingham city centre.

Nigel Eggleton from the bus operator last week said the changes were being made in response to how and when people were travelling across the working week and at weekends.

He added the pandemic had changed people’s lifestyles with more working from home, flexible working and people wanting to avoid congested places.

But many people from Bromsgrove, Rubery and Droitwich contacted us to stress the importance of the service to fulfill their needs to get to Birmingham and vice versa with residents from the Second City.

The online petition has now amassed almost 1,500 names and Coun Harrison Rone-Clark has put forward an emergency motion to be heard at Bromsgrove District Council’s full meeting on Wednesday, April 20.

It reads: “Bromsgrove District Council condemns the proposal to cut the 144 bus service.

“Council acknowledges how vital this service is to many of our residents, who use it to commute to Worcester and Birmingham.

“Council therefore resolves to make known our support for this service and commits to lobby the relevant authorities to ensure it’s survival.”

The Standard understands there are ’round table’ discussions being led by Worcestershire County Council going on behind the scenes in a bid to bring about a resolution for passengers who rely on the service.

Visit change.org/p/keep-144-to-birmingham to sign the online petition.

As well as the online petition, Birmingham City Councillors, and candidates in the forthcoming local elections, Simon Morrall, Debbie Clancy and Adrian Delaney and another candidate Keith Rowe are also in the process of collecting signatures on a petition over the Second City border.

Bromsgrove MP, Sajid Javid has written to the Managing Director of First Bus Worcester about the proposed change.

He said: “The removal of the 144 bus service is extremely disappointing, and I share the concerns of local residents about the impact it will have, particularly for those without access to other modes of transport.

“Having been in touch with a number of constituents already, I know the strength of feeling on this issue.”

“It is important that all possible avenues and options are explored, and I intend to keep my constituents up to date on the latest discussions.”

 

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