Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) would like to hear views on proposals to transform bus services across the West Midlands.
A proposed agreement with bus companies will set new standards for bus services along the key A34, A45 and Lode Lane corridors in Walsall, Birmingham and Solihull – including hearing loops, wheelchair spaces, USB charging ports and Wi-Fi on all services.
Further proposals could improve services across the whole West Midlands area – including offering discounted travel for under 25s.
A public consultation on the Enhanced Partnership (EP) proposals will run for 10 weeks, closing on the 13th September 2020.
Last year the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), of which TfWM is a part, approved the setting up of the EP which sets out a vision to improve bus services in the region and how this can be delivered.
This includes proposals for bus facilities and measures required to create a more enjoyable, reliable and safer travel experience as well as quicker journeys along the A34 (north), A45 and Lode Lane Corridors.
This route from Walsall to Solihull via Birmingham city centre includes the first Sprint cross-city rapid bus line which is due to open in 2022.
Responses will be used to inform the final proposal which will then go to WMCA’s Transport Delivery Committee for approval later in the year.
Committee chair Cllr Kath Hartley said: “If we are to persuade more people to get the bus, which is vital if we are to ease traffic congestion and improve the environment, then we have to provide a modern and efficient service and experience for passengers.
“This Enhanced Partnership sets out how TfWM will work with bus companies to ensure that these services provide an excellent level of comfort and accessibility.”
The proposed EP has been developed with partners (including the seven constituent local authorities and bus operators) as well as other key stakeholders, including passenger groups, industry and business.
Proposals to make bus services more accessible for passengers include offering discounted travel for those under 25 and the introduction of hearing loops at every wheelchair space and priority seating.
Latest technologies will be upgraded onto our services such as USB charging ports, Wi-Fi and contactless payment options will be provided by every operator. The aim is to create a socially inclusive modern bus network.
You can view and comment on the proposed EP Plan and Scheme on the consultation webpage www.EPConsultation.tfwm.org.uk
Alternatively, contact TfWM to request a copy of the consultation leaflet and questionnaire in an alternative format on 0345 303 6760 or email EPConsultation@tfwm.org.uk .