Following the abrupt closure of 59 bus stops in Birmingham, MPs condemned the decision in the House of Commons, and said elderly people, mothers with young children and disabled people would be particularly hit. An official Commons motion drawn up by Birmingham Hall Green MP Roger Godsiff (Lab) said: "This House deplores the decision by Transport for West Midlands to remove over 50 bus stops from 1 October 2017."
Transport for West Midlands, which oversees the region’s bus network, has closed the bus stops for a six month test to see how it affects services. It says there are some stops located just 130 yards apart, while others have fallen into disuse as businesses have closed or shopping habits changed. It says the changes will speed up journeys for passengers, as it is estimated each stop adds at least 35 seconds to a journey.
But the MPs said: "Transport for West Midlands’ own equality risk assessment identified that the closure of these bus stops would have a negative impact on many vulnerable groups including elderly people, mothers with young children and disabled people." And they said they deplore "the fact that Transport for West Midlands ignored this analysis and determined that profit was more important than people’s convenience." MPs also claimed local councillors had not been consulted properly.
8a/8c – Inner-circle
50 – Alcester Road
45/47 – Pershore Road
63 – Bristol Road
Laura Shoaf, managing director of Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), said: “This is a trial scheme running until March next year and which aims to improve reliability for passengers by speeding up journey times through the suspension of little-used bus stops. “TfWM policy is for people living within the West Midlands metropolitan area to be within 400m of a served bus stop, a rule which applies to 90 per cent of the network in the region. However, over the years and some stops have become as close as 130m apart. These short distances can have an adverse effect on journey times.