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“Please help me persuade National Express West Midlands (NXWM) to restore 369 Links” – Cllr Ian Shires


Cllr Ian Shires

The introduction of the 41 Walsall to Willenhall via New Invention Service in place of the 341 and 369 services has deprived people along Lucknow Rd/Coppice Lane of vital links to GP's/Employment areas in Green Lane/Reedswood and for people on the Wood Lane Estate, links to Willenhall.

Problem History

  • 1 Cllr Ian Shires reported the issue on FixMyTransport. close 08:09 15 Aug 2011
  • 2 Cllr Ian Shires wrote to Travel West Midlands close 08:09 15 Aug 2011

    Here is the letter that Cllr Ian Shires wrote.

    Call to reconnect Short Heath Residents with Vital Services

    As a Ward Councillor on Walsall MBC representing Willenhall North Ward I have had a number of complaints from people living along the Ashmore Lake Road, Lucknow Road, Coppice Lane, Cannock Road corridor who, since the recent Bus Review West of Walsall/Wolverhampton pointing out that the removal of the 369 service has deprived them of vital direct links to their GP's practice in Coppice Farm Way, employment areas in Green Lane Walsall and the Reedswood Shopping Centre. They have also seen a reduction in the frequency of buses from their area to Walsall.
    I have also had complaints from residents living on the Wood Lane Estate, Short Heath pointing out that they no longer have a direct link to Willenhall as the rplacement service for the 369, (69) now serves Wolverhampton and not Willenhall.
    Suggested remedies are route the 41 service through the Sneyd Park Estate (Kewstoke Rd/Reedly Rd prior to going through the Allens Rough Estate. This would reconnect with the GP's practice in Coppice Farm Way. Route the 41 through the Wood Lane Estate via Shelley Rd/Keats Rd/Byron Rd, reconnecting Wood Lane residents With Willenhall and finally reroute the 41 via Reedswood Shopping Centre and Green Lane to reconnect with Shopping and employment areas.

  • 3 Travel responded to Cllr Ian Shires close 12:52 18 Aug 2011
    Dear Councillor Shires

    Thanks for your comments received in this office on 15 August 2011, I am
    writing to let you know that investigations into this matter have not yet
    been completed.

    I am sorry for this delay and I will do my best to get back to you as soon
    as possible.

    Thank you again for you patience in this matter. In the meantime, if I can
    be of assistance please contact me on 0121 254 7272.

    Yours sincerely

    Amanda Clewes
    Customer Relations Executive

    show quoted sections
  • 4 Cllr Ian Shires added an update close 14:08 18 Aug 2011

    Thanks for the update and I look forward to further correspondence.

    This issue is going to be discussed at a joint meeting of Walsall Council's Envirnment and Regeneration Scrutiny Panels.

  • 5 Travel responded to Cllr Ian Shires close 11:30 23 Aug 2011
    Dear Councillor Shires

    Re: 341 bus route

    Referring to your correspondence received on 15 August 2011, I am writing
    to let you know that we have not forgotten you.

    I have viewed your case and investigations into this matter have not yet
    been completed.

    I am sorry for this delay and we will do our best to get back to you as
    quickly as we can as we realise it has been a while since you contacted us.

    We have been requesting a report from the operating garage since you wrote
    to us. As yet, we have not received the expected response, because the
    relevant employee is currently on annual leave until 30 August 2011, and
    since it has already taken us several weeks to respond, I felt that it was
    better to reply to you honestly, than to keep you waiting any longer.

    Thank you for your patience in the meantime.

    Yours sincerely

    Jamie Plant
    Customer Relations Executive

    Tel: 0121 254 7272

    show quoted sections
  • 6 Tom Steinberg commented close 13:20 01 Sep 2011

    Dear Ian,

    I have just read about your campaign to get the 369 bus links restored - I like the fact that the reply from Travel West Midlands is so polite!

    Being a local politician, you must know the power of community support. Have you thought about sending the link to your campaign page to some other local people, so that they could add their names? It would surely help make your case.

    all the best,

    Tom Steinberg

  • 7 Travel responded to Cllr Ian Shires close 10:50 09 Sep 2011
    Dear Councillor Shires

    Referring to my earlier correspondence, I am writing to let you know that
    investigations into this matter have not yet been completed.

    I am sorry for this delay and I will do my best to get back to you as soon
    as possible.

    Thank you again for you patience in this matter. In the meantime, if I can
    be of assistance please contact me on 0121 254 7272.

    Yours sincerely

    Amanda Clewes
    Customer Relations Executive

    show quoted sections
  • 8 joanne giles commented close 09:43 11 Sep 2011

    The change of this service is a nightmare.With the 41 only running every half hour to walsall there is no other bus available for you to catch(which never seems to be on time its either to early and you miss or occasionaly doesn't turn up)I live on pool hayes estate and work on Bentley Lane at Old Hall Special School.The 69 used to take me straight to work ,now i have to catch the 41 15 mins earlier than before ,then get off at the Bridge pub and walk up Bentley Lane past the cemetry to school.Although i don't mind a good walk winter is on its way and i've gotta be honest i'm dreading it! BRING BACK THE 369 PLEASE.

  • 9 Rose Bell commented close 21:30 13 Sep 2011

    Being a regular bus commuter from Short Heath to Walsall each day, I know how important it is to have a regular and reliable bus service. The withdrawal of the (3)69 bus service has not only affected the local residents, but the impact on the local businesses surely must be taken into account.
    In recent years, local councillors have been trying to keep Willenhall town as a thriving shopping area for those who live and work in the immediate area. Since the new bus routes came into effect on the 24th July 2011, this surely now has had an inpact on these businesses. At the beginning of 2011, a new Morrisons opened in Willenhall town centre. Surely they must be feeling the effects of less people shopping there. This must also be true for those who used to shop at Sainsburys, Reedswood and also Co-op at Essington.
    Before this change, there used to be a good and regular service from Coppice Lane/Howe Crescent which ran with 3 x buses, the (3) 40, 41 & 69. All these buses started from Willenhall town centre and went to Walsall along different routes, serving the communities along the way.
    If you have an appointment at the chiropodist's Coppice Farm Way, Essington, you now have to catch the 41 to New Invention, then wait for the 69 to take you to Coppice Farm Way.
    Before the new bus service came into effect, you could get the 69 from Coppice Lane/Howe Crescent straight to Coppice Farm Way without having to change. Can someone please explain the sense in catching two buses instead of one?
    Being residents of Willenhall, we want to be able to support and shop in Willenhall town centre, attend doctor's appointments with the choice of buses we had before. We also want to be able to attend appointments at Coppice Farm Essington, and to be able to shop at Sainsburys at Reedswood by only catching one bus.
    We do not all have cars at our disposal and with the cost of fuel this is not a viable option these days.
    I would of thought that the powers to be who make these decisions, could of studied the information which is surely available from the bus drivers record of who gets on at which stops, either from the tickets they issue or by the number of bus passes that people have to show. This must be the most accurate record of journeys made on a daily basis.
    If the bus services are not there, people will not be able to travel, which means fewer passengers on the buses and less people shopping.
    Please bring our buses back!!!

  • 10 joanne giles commented close 18:02 14 Sep 2011

    This week alone i have been late for work 3 times yes everyday! the 41 seems to run anywhere between 8.15 and 8.45a.m. School children were also late on the bus moms and dads running to get them to school absolutely ridiculas. Monday bus turned up at 8.45 ,tuesday 8.35 today 8.20 it's supposed to be at my stop on Lucknow Rd at 8.27.PUT THE 69 BACK ON AT LEAST WE'LL HAVE A CHOICE OF TWO NOT JUST RELY ON ONE!!!!!!!!!!

  • 11 Rose Bell commented close 20:22 14 Sep 2011

    Late 69 bus from Walsall, Wednesday 14th September 2011

    This evening upon arriving at Walsall in time to catch the 17.55pm 69 bus which eventually turned up at 18.10pm just as the 41, 18.10pm bus was leaving on time.

    This resulted in everyone waiting for the 41 plus everyone waiting to catch the 17.55pm 69 bus, all getting on the 41. As this was a single decker, crowded is not the right word to use!!

    Please put the 69 back onto its rightful route from Walsall to Willenhall (and vice a versa) and not to Wolverhampton, at least it ran on time before!!

  • 12 joanne giles commented close 00:43 28 Sep 2011

    A lady on the bus today said that the 369 will be back on next month is this true.So many people complaining but don't know about this site.I was talking to an elderly gentleman at the bus stop yesterday one of the many aquintances i've made,he said how he misses popping up to sainsbury's for a look around so sad that they feel that way all because someone decides to take a bus off! well off to bed now as i have to be out early in case the bus comes early again!

  • 13 Myf Nixon commented close 10:00 28 Sep 2011

    Thanks Joanne - it sounds like you've been spreading the word about We reckon word of mouth will be our best publicity so please do carry on telling people about us - especially those people who rely on a trip to Sainsburys for a social life :(

  • 14 Rose Bell commented close 20:22 28 Sep 2011

    Hi Joanne,

    Your comments about people not being able to get to Sainsburys, backs up my comment made on the 13th September. Lets hope that the powers to be are actually taking note of what we are saying, that is from us who use this service and depend upon it.
    I have not heard anything about the 69 route being re-instated and other people I have spoken to at the bus stop of a morning are also not aware of this. Lets just hope this is not just a rumour but has some truth about it.
    The past couple of weeks the 6.33am service (the first bus of the day) either hasn't been turning up, or has run so late that for those of us who start work at 7.00am in Walsall or who need to catch our next bus at 6.55am from Walsall, have been let down. This can then only have a knock on effect for the rest of the day!
    Lets keep plugging away for this service to be brought back before we get in the winter.

  • 15 Cllr Ian Shires commented close 08:42 29 Sep 2011

    Thanks for all the comments coming in about bus issues across New Invention and Short Heath, all have been noted and help us to help you in this fight to restore public transport connections to places of work, GP's and local shops.


  • 16 Rose Bell commented close 21:03 29 Sep 2011

    Lets hope some good can come out of this, especially for those who do not have their own transport and for the local shops and communities.
    Praise and thanks to all concerned.

  • 17 joanne giles commented close 22:14 04 Oct 2011

    I hope the 69 will be put back on to Willenhall its now costing me almost £20 a week to get to work which is a big expense .I do catch just the 41 and walk most times but if its late its not worth it the 69 passes me as i'm walking!It's quite a scary walk to ,up Bently Lane ,lots of cars never anyone on foot i'm always checking behind me! ad i know but you never know oh well off to bed to get up that extra half hour early to catch the 41!

  • 18 Myf Nixon advised Cllr to write to Walsall Express and Star. close 14:29 05 Oct 2011

    Hello Cllr Shires,

    I wonder if you'd be interested in bringing this story to the attention of the local press. Now that there is so much debate and support on the page, I think they'd be interested to pick up on it.

    Good luck!

    Myf Nixon

  • 19 Myf Nixon advised Cllr to write to Peter Pilsner. close 14:31 05 Oct 2011

    Here's another email address, this time for Peter Pilsner, who is the Midlands Transport correspondent for the BBC. I'm sure he'd be interested to take a look.

  • 20 Rose Bell commented close 20:17 05 Oct 2011

    I agree with Myf Nixon, contacting the Walsall edition of the express and star and how about possibly having an article in the Metro paper, where I expect more people would read it and hopefully generate more support for the 69 bus to be returned to Willenhall.
    Also excellent suggestion about getting the BBC involved. It can't hurt after all.

  • 21 Cllr Ian Shires commented close 07:43 06 Oct 2011

    Some really good ideas coming fwd from MyF Nixon re the media.

    These come at just the right time as I have a meeting with a Centro officer tomorrow (Friday) to discuss the 69 route and others in the Willenhall area where issues continue to exist since the "Bus Review" across the area.

    Petitions, comments, and survey results will help to make the case for the return of links which were a feature of the old 369, (GP's, employment areas in Reedswood and green Lane Walsall)

    Ahead of this meeting we took the opportunity to talk with bus users at the New Invention bus interchange see link:

    I will feed back the outcome of Friday's meeting. In the meantime keep up the pressure.



  • 22 Cllr Ian Shires commented close 08:08 26 Jan 2012

    The issues around the reliability of this service appear to have improved but we are still left with the lack of a link to essential services for residents living along the Coppice Lane/Lucknow Road/Ashmore Lake Rd corridor.
    The trade off offered by NEWM to restore the link between the Wood Lane area and Willenhall is still an issue. NEWM say that to accommodate links to the Wood Lane area they would have to stop the service going through The Beacon Estate/Allens Rough and along the Essington Road. Clearly NEWM are trying to set one group of passengers against another. We are still convinced that the issue can be resolved and are asking for further discussions.

  • 23 Mrs A commented close 20:43 04 Mar 2012

    As a resident of Lucknow road i find the 41 service to willenhall totally unreliable it runs late and buses are missed out also the change of route on the 69 bus has totally cut us off from using the retail park at reedswood as a parent of a young child I rely on the buses and feel the bus companies need to investigate this further

  • 24 Cllr Ian Shires commented close 08:13 05 Mar 2012

    Thank you for your comment. The issue with regards to the reliability of this service is ongoing and is a high priority for us. We will pass your concerns on to Centro and NXWM.
    We are continuing to fight to reinstate the links to GPs and other vital services which have been denied to users such as yourself.
    We are totally opposed to the latest suggestion from NXWM and supported by the Labour councillor for Willenhall North, which would see the 41 service taken away from the Essington Road, Allens Rough and Beacon Estates making it even more difficult for residents in our area to access vital services.

  • 25 Cllr Ian Shires commented close 12:13 08 Mar 2012

    National Express West Midlands came up with a proposal but it did not address the main thrust of what we are trying to achieve. We are still trying to achieve our aims and have not ruled out talking with other bus companies.

  • 26 joanne giles commented close 06:44 13 Mar 2012

    Still waiting for service to be put back on. The 28 bus is always empty what a waste of time and money.The 69 is empty till it gets to the square on new invention then it fills up with up to ten people standing,and thats only half way round its journey.Surely that should tell you something.It needs a double decker on in the morning and it needsto go back to willenhall.To the people who plan these routes come to willenhall and try out the service instead of sitting behind your desk deciding whats best for real working people who have an extra hour on their journey not to mention the extra cost.DISCUSTING!!!!

  • 27 Cllr Ian Shires commented close 07:18 13 Mar 2012

    Thanks for your input Joanne. NXWM, which is a private company, sits on its monopoly of service provision across our area and appears to ignore the needs of the travelling public which is why we are now talking with other bus companies to see if they are prepared to take on National Express.

    Your comments on the need for double deck buses and the 28 service will be pursued with Centro. The aim is still to restore links to essential services such as GPs and Willenhall to the Lucknow Road, Coppice Lane, Cannock Road corridor.

  • 28 Rose Bell commented close 20:50 14 Mar 2012

    Another point of contact that is well worth a try is to email

    I have found them very helpful regarding the first bus of the day (6.33am) on the 69 service.

    They are not only extremely helpful but they do take complaints and issues seriously. I now submit a spreadsheet each month detailing the times of the 69 service first thing of a morning, ie the bus ID number, the time the bus turned up and arrival time in Walsall. Even at this time in the morning there are alot of us who either start work at 7.00am in Walsall or have connecting buses to catch and rely of this bus. This may be worth a try with the on going daytime problems with both the 69 and the 41 services and submitting it to them.

    Hope this helps.

  • 29 Cllr Ian Shires commented close 07:17 15 Mar 2012

    Thanks for that information, will give it a try and let others know.

  • 30 Rose Bell commented close 12:14 31 Mar 2012

    Just read the latest good news regarding the 41 bus service for the residents of the Wood Lane Estate. At least it proves that if enough people like Councillor Ian Shires and other like minded people, companies like National Express have to sit up and take notice. On this occasion, persistance has paid off.

  • 31 Peter Dixon commented close 18:17 01 Apr 2012

    Great to hear Rose.

  • 32 Cllr Ian Shires commented close 18:51 01 Apr 2012

    It's been a hard slog getting the 41 back onto the Wood Lane Estate without disenfranchising residents on Beacon and Allens Rough estates. Now we need to press on with re-establishing the link to vital GP services on Coppice Farm Way for those living along the Coppice Lane, Lucknow Road corridor. Councillor Doreen Shires raised the issue of lack of a GP's practice in Short Heath Ward and poor access for public transport to medical facilities at last weeks Willenhall Partnership meeting. It appears that provision within the Health Bill may help put pressure on the bus operators and Centro.

  • 33 Cllr Ian Shires commented close 14:18 19 Apr 2012

    The problem has partially been resolved in that the 41 service has returned to the Wood Lane Estate reinstating the link for residents of the estate to Willenhall Town Centre.

    The problem of access to GPs for residents living along the Lucknow Road corridor remains unresolved.

  • 34 Cllr Ian Shires added an update close 14:33 19 Apr 2012

    Thew reinstatement of the 41 Walsall to Willenhall service to the Wood Lane Estate in Short Heath has partially resolved the problems created by the Bus Review last year. However the problem of access to GPs for residents along the Lucknow Road corridor still remains. We are trying to get another bus operator interested in covering the Coppice Farm Way loop.

  • 35 Cllr Ian Shires commented close 13:49 31 May 2012

    There were a number of issues coming out of the West Walsall & Wolverhampton Bus Review last year. This particular one is proving to be the most difficult to resolve. We will continue to lobby for the link along the Lucknow Road corridor to Coppice Farm to be reinstated. The most logical option left without creating a new service (which none of the smaller operator seem interested in on the grounds of set up costs) is for NEWM to re route the 28 service.

  • 36 Cllr Ian Shires wrote to Walsall Express and Star following Myf Nixon's advice. close 14:00 31 May 2012

    We have been trying for over a year now to get the access to the Sina Centre medical facility on Coppice Farm Way New Invention for residents living along the Lucknow Road area of Short Heath Willenhall reinstated.

    We've tried Centro, NEWM and Midland with no sucess to date. The cost of setting up a new service is prohibitive so really we are looking at re routing existing services and NEWM are reluctant to even consider this. There 28 Willenhall to Wolverhampton Service via New Invention is really the only service which could reinstate this link.

    Are you able to help?

    Cllr Ian Shires
    Walsall MBC
    Willenhall North Ward

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