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“Please help me persuade National Express West Midlands (NXWM) to improve journey times/reliability on the 900 bus route” – Alistair Rigley

Description

Alistair Rigley

Route 900 is forever running late, I've never had one on time in the last few years even journeys at 6am run late and usually it's not the driver's fault. Not only does the route not have enough running time but it also fills up with a lot of passengers, nearly all for the same few stops: Coventry Pool Meadow, Birmingham Airport and N.E.C., Digbeth Coach Station and Birmingham City Centre stops. Running out of service from Birmingham also contributes, maybe Coventry Garage could step in on a few early and late journeys to help.

I think the best way to improve on this is keep the current 900 but also add a half hourly service i.e. 900X that just serves the popular stops, cutting out all the pointless turn offs on the A45 that never see any passengers boarding or alighting. It would cut journey times right down, reduce the crowding on buses (particularly helpful if the trains aren't running and in peak times) and give an improved frequency. Replacing the 900E with this service would be a better use for the buses.

The current 900 might as well revert to it's old 159 route number as it's pointless it being Limited Stop as it only misses about 5 stops out. Having a 900/900X would improve the journey comfort for people from places like Meriden with there being room for them to sit down as more people would choose the faster 900X

It was a bad idea in many people's opinion to reduce the 900 from every 20 minutes to every 30 minutes a few years back. It's a dreadful route now and the condition of the buses is poor, I always have to examine the seat before i sit down as there could be anything on them because people don't look after the buses.
All the talk by Network West Midlands of 'rapid transit' in the future is pointless when a fix like this is possible now. With more people using Public Transport rather than their cars especially in these financial times it's only going to get worse and we know nobody wants that.

Thank you for reading and considering this.

Alistair Rigley.

Problem History

  • 1 Alistair Rigley reported the issue on FixMyTransport. close 20:49 16 Dec 2011
  • 2 Alistair Rigley wrote to National Express close 20:49 16 Dec 2011

    Here is the letter that Alistair Rigley wrote.

    Route 900 to slow and not enough running time

    Route 900 is forever running late, I've never had one on time in the last few years even journeys at 6am run late and usually it's not the driver's fault. Not only does the route not have enough running time but it also fills up with a lot of passengers, nearly all for the same few stops: Coventry Pool Meadow, Birmingham Airport and N.E.C., Digbeth Coach Station and Birmingham City Centre stops. Running out of service from Birmingham also contributes, maybe Coventry Garage could step in on a few early and late journeys to help.

    I think the best way to improve on this is keep the current 900 but also add a half hourly service i.e. 900X that just serves the popular stops, cutting out all the pointless turn offs on the A45 that never see any passengers boarding or alighting. It would cut journey times right down, reduce the crowding on buses (particularly helpful if the trains aren't running and in peak times) and give an improved frequency. Replacing the 900E with this service would be a better use for the buses.

    The current 900 might as well revert to it's old 159 route number as it's pointless it being Limited Stop as it only misses about 5 stops out. Having a 900/900X would improve the journey comfort for people from places like Meriden with there being room for them to sit down as more people would choose the faster 900X

    It was a bad idea in many people's opinion to reduce the 900 from every 20 minutes to every 30 minutes a few years back. It's a dreadful route now and the condition of the buses is poor, I always have to examine the seat before i sit down as there could be anything on them because people don't look after the buses.
    All the talk by Network West Midlands of 'rapid transit' in the future is pointless when a fix like this is possible now. With more people using Public Transport rather than their cars especially in these financial times it's only going to get worse and we know nobody wants that.

    Thank you for reading and considering this.

    Alistair Rigley.

  • 3 National Express responded to Alistair Rigley close 20:50 16 Dec 2011
    Thank you for your email.

    To enable us to reply will you please take the time to complete
    a feedback form at the following link
    [1]http://www.nationalexpress.com/coach/Con...

    We value your feedback and this makes sure that all of the
    necessary information is available to our Customer Services Team
    to help them provide a quick and effective response.

    If you have an existing case reference (beginning CO, EU or BU)
    you do not need to complete a feedback form, your email will be
    automatically added to your file.

    Yours sincerely

    National Express Customer Services 

    Please note, this is not a monitored e-mail address and we are
    unable to refer to the content.

    show quoted sections
  • 4 Peter Dixon commented close 15:43 18 Dec 2011

    Hello Alistair

    My advice would be to get you to keep a log of all of your journeys over the coming months and record your delays when you get them on this page. By having this record, you will have the data that shows that they are not meeting expectations. It will also help if you can get several people who use the route doing that. It will help your campaign.

    Cheers

    FMT Volunteer

    anorak
    admin
  • 5 Stuart Johnson commented close 18:30 19 Dec 2011

    What may have contributed to this current situation, especially between Birmingham City Centre and the AIrport, was the revising of the 58 service from Yardley, which meant that the 900 was altered to serve all stops between Yardley and the Airport, rather than be a full 'limited-stop' service between Birmingham and Sheldon.

    I don't know just how many people use this service to travel between Coventry and Birmingham, maybe it would make sense to split the route at the Airport, with Birmingham Central garage operating the Birmingham side, and Coventry garage the other, and passengers wishing to continue could interchange at the airport bus station. Then maybe operate, as you say, a true limited-stop express service, maybe with a 30min frequency, between Birmingham and Coventry.

    anorak
  • 6 James McCollom commented close 13:39 20 Dec 2011

    The decision last year to stop Coventry-bound buses running via Millisons Wood is a pain for me - I catch the train to Birmingham International and used to use the bus to travel to Meriden Business Park. Now I either face a fair old walk or I wait an hour and get a taxi with my colleagues. The "replacement" 82 is no good as it comes from Solihull, and it's no use staying on the train until Coventry because the bus station is on the other side of the city centre.

  • 7 Stuart Johnson commented close 19:25 29 Dec 2011

    I just noticed that this complaint may have been sent to National Express (the coach operator) rather than to National Express West Midlands, as the 900 is a local bus route, rather than a coach route.

    anorak
  • 8The problem report was resent to National Express West Midlands (NXWM) 22:18 30 Dec 2011
  • 9 Peter Dixon commented close 22:21 30 Dec 2011

    Hello Alistair

    Sorry for the delay in sending your request to NXWM. I have sent it to them. Good Luck with your issue.

    Kind regards

    FMT Volunteer

    anorak
    admin
  • 10 Travel responded to Alistair Rigley close 13:26 06 Jan 2012
    Dear Mr Rigley

    I was concerned to learn to learn read your comments about our 900 service.
    I would be grateful if you would contact us direct on 0121 254 7272 or
    email us at [email address] so that we can investigate fully.

    We look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Yours sincerely

    Customer Relations Team

    show quoted sections
  • 11 East Midlands Travel Advice commented close 21:25 06 Jan 2012

    I think more people use the train between them 2 city's than by bus. Virgin Trains have a train every 20 minutes and London Midland have around 2-3 every hour.

  • 12 Colin Edwards commented close 18:04 07 Jan 2012

    I use the 900 whenever I visit Birmingham (stay at the Airport Travelodge, there's a stop just ouside), and find it to be a poor service, especially for an airport route. Even at night the bus would be late coming out of the city, the result being that the drivers go like they're in the grand prix from Swam Island onwards. Last August bank holiday I was catching the 12:18 to connect with a pre-booked train at Birmingham International, it never showed up and I had to fork out for a taxi. The fact that most customers use the train to reach the airport is no excuse to let the 900 go to the wall.

  • 13 Myf Nixon commented close 16:22 10 Jan 2012

    Hello Alistair,

    I hope that you will come back and update us on any progress, if you take NXWM's advice to call them on the phone. I'm sure your supporters, and other visitors to this page would like to know how the matter pans out.

    If you'd prefer to keep to written correspondence, though, you can do this:

    - Find the 'new message' email FixMyTransport sent you when the email from NXWM arrived.

    - Click on the link in that email, which will take you to the page with just the response on it

    - Click 'reply' - this will ensure that the previous correspondence is copied in and will also keep a record of all correspondence on this page. Good luck!

    anorak
    admin
  • 14 Stuart Johnson commented close 19:09 20 Jan 2012

    I saw on the Network West Midlands website today that the 900/900A is being amended from the end of February. It will now serve Parkhill Drive again in Coventry (I believe it used to previously, before the introduction of Central Connect's 'Signature' 82 service), and the other change is to 'operate between Meriden and the Airport express via A45', which I thought it did anyway lol.

    anorak
  • 15 James McCollom commented close 13:39 27 Jan 2012

    The 900 does go via the A45 between Airport and Meriden - but currently operates via the slip roads to serve bus stops at the Motorcycle Museum and Stonebridge Island. Still no luck on serving Meriden Business Park from Birmingham International - even a stop on the A45 near Oak Lane would suffice.

  • 16 Stuart Johnson commented close 19:05 28 Jan 2012

    I'm not familiar with the exact location of Meriden Business Park, and it is not shown on Google Maps (though I can see some buildings on satellite view) , is it the industrial area just north of the A45, off Oak Lane? If so, I can see what you mean, there are stops westward bound from Coventry towards Birmingham, where the 900 turns off to head into Meriden, which would entail a short walk to get there, but there is no visible stop on the A45 heading eastwards towards Coventry.

    Is there enough demand for a stop to be added there? And is there a suitable location for it to be installed? If so, you may have grounds for a campaign of your own, James. Centro (Network West Midlands) will probably only install a stop here, if there is enough demand for it.

    As for your comments on the current route, it would seem that the forthcoming changes will mean that the 900 will now travel direct between the Airport and Meriden directly along the A45 and no longer use these slip roads. I don't know how much impact that will have on improving reliability, we'll just have to wait and see...

    anorak
  • 17 Stuart Johnson commented close 18:38 30 Jan 2012

    Well I must say, I had a few hours to kill yesterday, so for want of something to do, I decided to take a ride on the 900 to Coventry and back myself, just to check it out!

    Not the best of starts, as considering it was a Sunday afternoon, I was rather disgruntled that this service was running 15 minutes late, I arrived at the stop at Swan Island 15 minutes before it was due, and one went flying past, and it was a good half hour I stood shivering in the cold before the next one arrived!

    It was an interesting journey though and I did make some of my own observations: the journey round the Airport and rail station is quite convoluted and time-consuming, nobody really uses the stops in those slip road areas, and because of poor access directly to Meriden off the A45 towards Coventry, it has to take a large detour just to get there! But on those stretches of the open A45 it does use, those buses can fly!

    What would I do with the route? As I stated earlier, I'd split it in two: a 900A between Birmingham and the Airport, a 900C between Coventry and the Airport, and then have an X900 service, operating limited stop between Birmingham and Coventry, skipping out Meriden altogether and maybe even Allesley. Run all services every half hour, so there is a combined 15 min frequency, and the stops at the Airport are right next to each other, so passenger interchange between the 900A/C is easy enough if required.

    anorak
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