We asked for your views on plans to reshape the bus network in South Birmingham. We had a great response, with 5,000 customers getting in touch, through several consultation exercises.
Due to the detail of the responses it has taken a little longer than expected to read every one. The responses highlighted many common themes that we have spent more time investigating. We went back to the drawing board in some places to try and address the needs of those customers who took part.
Now we need your help to finalise how the network will look next year.
Our review is necessary for two main reasons. First, traffic congestion is slowing the network down. Second, we want to make sure the network is enabling the journeys our current and new customers want.
Traffic congestion is a serious issue for our customers. It slows down their journeys and makes using the bus less attractive and fewer people travel. This is bad for our customers who are trying to access jobs, education, healthcare and leisure opportunities. We have responded by responded by deploying more buses to maintain the same service levels, so buses still arrive as often, but they are stuck in the same congestion.
And our network needs to respond to the ever-changing nature of the places it serves. New housing, employment, and changes to where people want to travel, means we need to react to, and predict, new travel needs.
We are working closely with Transport for West Midlands and Birmingham City Council to help overcome some of the delays seen on the network. This includes new initiatives on traffic light optimisation, bus lane enforcement and new bus lanes at key hotspots on the network.
The solutions will vary according to local circumstances. This might mean faster journeys by following different routes and new express routes which cut journey times by skipping some stops. It might mean splitting long routes that are prone to delays, so passengers in quieter areas are not delayed by traffic several miles away.
All our research shows that the top three things our customers want, in order, are:
1. Frequency (how often buses arrive)
2. Journey time (how long the bus takes to get there)
3. Price (value for money)
Our proposals are in line with local policy and strategy. Transforming Bus Travel proposed a substantial overhaul
of the network guided by:
1. Simplicity (fewer routes and more logical numbers)
2. High frequency routes to key centres
3. Complementary routes with lower frequencies for local and customised travel needs
We have already conducted some customer research on general network attributes to determine preferences for things such as journey speeds, walking distances, connections and frequency.
We consulted on some initial ideas. Thanks to all those who have taken part so far. We're working through the feedback to help design a better bus network.
As with all consultations, some proposals and ideas will change as a result of the feedback. If you have any further comments about the consultation, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org