New look bus service proving a big hit

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Travel and roads
David Bradford and Andy Lunn from National Express standing next to a bus with councillors Mike Rouse and Karen May.

The new-look number 20 bus service, serving Bromsgrove and surrounding areas which launched in April this year, is proving a big hit with bus users.

Operated by National Express West Midlands, the service provides an hourly link between Bromsgrove and Birmingham and includes buses running on a Sunday.

The number 20 bus, which replaced the 144a service between Bromsgrove and Longbridge, offers an improved service from Bromsgrove via Rubery, Longbridge and Northfield to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.

Councillor Mike Rouse, Worcestershire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, said: “I’m delighted that we were able to secure the future of this much-loved service and really pleased to see it being so well used.

“This new service runs every hour, which is great news for bus users and has led to growth in those travelling on the service.”

David Bradford, Managing Director of National Express West Midlands, said: "We’re really pleased that the number 20 service has been so popular with residents since the service launched in April 2023 and that we could support Worcestershire County Council with the expansion of this route, ensuring local communities do not lose vital bus connections.

“We’re committed to making bus travel affordable and accessible to all. A single adult ticket will continue to be £2 until 31 October 2023 thanks to the Government's fare cap scheme. An all-day ticket is £4.50, which is great value for multiple journeys in a day and still the cheapest day bus ticket of any city region in England."

The County Council went out to tender to bus companies in February 2023 allowing operators to bid for the opportunity to deliver the service on its behalf.

In April last year, First Bus made changes to the 144 service which saw it stop at Catshill, and not travel onwards to Birmingham. National Express West Midlands then agreed to run the service between Bromsgrove, Rubery and Longbridge, replacing the sections lost from the changes to the 144 service.

Since then, Worcestershire County Council has funded the replacement service from Bromsgrove Bus Station to Rubery and Longbridge, where bus users can connect to frequent services onward to Birmingham.