National Express West Midlands bus services in Birmingham and the Black Country will be back running at full strength from Sunday 5 July. As the government continues to relax the lockdown rules, the vast majority of the region’s bus routes will go back to their normal pre-pandemic frequencies.
This means there will be over 105,000 more seats available every day, making it easier to practise safe social distancing.
Because of new social distancing requirements in Birmingham city centre and Park Street being closed, there will also be route and stop changes affecting routes 2, 3, 5, 6, 16, 17, 45, 47, 60, 65, 66, 67, 82, 87, X1, X2.
Meanwhile, National Express Coventry is increasing its 3/3A, 5, 7, 10A, 13/13A, 16 and 21/21A services from Sunday 5 July, adding around 11,000 more seats each day for passengers. On Sundays, the first 4 service to University Hospital will run 10 minutes earlier, departing from Pool Meadow at 0655hrs.
Passenger numbers continue to be monitored and further changes will be made where needed.
Chris Gibbens, Commercial Director at National Express UK Bus, said: “If you’ve not been on the buses for a while, you will see some changes that we’ve brought in to keep everyone safe.
“We continue to ask customers to work with us by following government guidance, which says passengers must wear face coverings on public transport. Some people do not need to wear a face covering – children under 11, and people with certain health and non-visible conditions, so drivers will be exercising reasonable discretion when applying this new rule.
“We have enhanced our cleaning regimes to reduce the risk of contact with the coronavirus, including extra cleaning of shared surface areas. And our cleaning teams are jumping on buses at bus stations, key interchanges and stops to wipe down mid-route.
“Our buses are also being deep cleaned every night by ‘fogging’ – an aerosol-based disinfection containing a high-performance antiviral solution that settles in the hard-to-reach areas.”
Throughout the lockdown, National Express has been working closely with Transport for West Midlands through the Bus Alliance to provide the right public transport network for the region. As the rules change and more people start to travel, the operator is continuing to monitor passenger numbers and will change services where it’s needed.
Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “National Express have done a great job managing demand throughout the pandemic, and I am pleased to see more services returning as the lockdown restrictions continue to ease slowly and safely.
“Public transport use is still currently only advised for essential journeys, but I know transport operators all across the West Midlands have done everything they can to make buses, trains, and trams safe. For those who are travelling, please follow the Government guidance, particularly around the use of face coverings.”