THE NEW-LOOK number 20 bus service which runs from Bromsgrove to Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital has been hailed a great success.
Operated by National Express West Midlands, the service provides an hourly link between Bromsgrove and the hospital, via Rubery, Longbridge and Northfield, including services on a Sunday.
The number 20 bus replaced the 144a service between Bromsgrove and Longbridge.
David Bradford, National Express West Midlands’ managing director, said: “We’re really pleased the number 20 service has been so popular with residents since the service launched in April 2023 and that we could support Worcestershire County Council with the expansion of this route, ensuring local communities do not lose vital bus connections.
“We’re committed to making bus travel affordable and accessible to all.”
He added a single adult ticket would continue to be £2 until October 31, 2023, thanks to the Government’s fare cap scheme.
An all-day ticket was £4.50 which, Mr Bradford added, was great value for multiple journeys in a day and was still the cheapest day bus ticket of any city region in England.
Coun Mike Rouse, Worcestershire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, said: “I’m delighted we were able to secure the future of this much-loved service and really pleased to see it being so well used.
“This new service runs every hour, which is great news for bus users and has led to growth in those travelling on the service.”
Worcestershire County Council went out to tender to bus companies in February 2023, allowing operators to bid for the opportunity to deliver the service on its behalf.
In April last year, First Bus made changes to the 144 service which saw it stop at Catshill, and not travel onwards to Birmingham. National Express West Midlands then agreed to run the service between Bromsgrove, Rubery and Longbridge, replacing the sections lost from the changes to the 144 service.
Since then, Worcestershire County Council has funded the replacement service from Bromsgrove Bus Station to Rubery and Longbridge, where bus users can connect to frequent services onward to Birmingham.
From Longbridge, the number 20 runs directly along the Bristol Road. From Longbridge (Bristol Road South), along Lickey Road, Edgewood Road and Cliff Rock Road (towards Bromsgrove), Leach Green Lane (from Bromsgrove), Leach Green Lane (northern end), New Road and then to the same route as the 144a did between Rubery and Bromsgrove.