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28th Jun, 2022

New bus service to be launched between Bromsgrove, Rubery and Longbridge as 'solution' to 144 cuts

Tristan Harris 28th Apr, 2022 Updated: 29th Apr, 2022

A NEW bus service will be introduced between Bromsgrove Bus Station, Rubery and Longbridge on Tuesday, May 3, as a solution to the loss of the section of the 144 which goes to Birmingham.

Campaigners battled hard to get the 144 route to continue between Worcester, Droitwich, Bromsgrove and Birmingham but, as First Bus Worcester had planned, the service will terminate in Catshill from Sunday.

The new hourly Monday to Saturday service – run by National Express West Midlands (NXWM) – is aimed at giving passengers the chance to get to a place where they can use other services to Birmingham city centre, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and other areas.

NXWM and Worcestershire County Council entered into an agreement regarding the route which will last for six months while the authority reviews the network and vies to reach a longer term solution.

A timetable is due to be released shortly.

There will be mixed feelings about the changes and convenience and cost implications on bus users, particularly with no Sunday service.

National Express West Midlands operates a ‘card tap’ scheme in Birmingham which sees passengers pay £2.40 for one journey and £4 (capped) for any after that. NXWM have now confirmed that bus will be included in the offer so using that service (and as many Birmingham buses after that) would prove cheaper than the 144.

But convenience could also be an issue as users would have to get to Bromsgrove bus station.

Passengers, who are not in easy walking or cycling distance of the town centre, would have to get another bus from another operator which could incur extra costs.

It is not clear if there will be tickets available that could be used on both services and reduce the price.

And – with the 144 being a century-old service, there is likely to be some sadness about the history of the Worcester (once Malvern) to Birmingham bus no longer running.

We have been inundated with letters over the past three weeks from concerned bus users worried about how they will get to work, colleges, medical appointments, shops and leisure venues.

We reported last week from May 3, when children return to school, that the S45 school service will serve the current 144 route.

REVEALED – The timetable for the new ‘144A’ between Bromsgrove, Catshill, Rubery and Longbridge

The Standard says….

WHILST it is good news a ‘solution’ has been found to bridge the gap between Bromsgrove and Birmingham left by the cutting back of the 144, it feels as there are currently more questions than answers.

No Sunday service will cause problems for some – and would have done last Sunday when the CrossCity Line was shut – and there could be extra costs for commuters and passengers if they need other transport to get to Bromsgrove Bus Station.

Hopefully the ‘longer-term solution’ the county council is seeking will benefit all bus users.

It is also a shame the historical route – which has run since 1914 and holds many precious memories for many – has been curtailed and looks to never be the same again.

We will wait and see.

 

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