It seems there might be bad news for uses of the Diamond Buses 56 route from Brownhills to Birmingham – yesterday I had the following email from passenger Gina Young:
I thought I would just let you know some news I found out this afternoon. The 56 Diamond bus service to Birmingham city centre is to be withdrawn as of the 24th of October. This is a popular bus with many people in Brownhills and I and many other’s use this service every day to get to work and back.
I contacted the depot and was told the reason behind it is that it is no longer financially viable and we will have to use the 936 instead. When this service was introduced last year many of us remained loyal to Diamond and continued to use this service as we still do , so today’s news was a bit of a blow to us.
As this may affect some of your readers I thought best to let you know as soon as possible so people can make alternative travel arrangements if they need to.
I’m not a frequent user myself, but I know the 56 is a popular, busy service relied upon by commuters and shoppers alike, and it’s a useful service not just to Birmingham, but for Leighswood, Aldridge, Streetly. Kin standing and the suburbs.
I asked Network WM on Facebook to confirm or deny, and they said they had no information – which is not unexpected as their public information is usually woeful. I have sent an enquiry to Diamond Buses via several channels and await their comment.
The 56 service is well-used is the remnant of the old Harpers service from Cannock to Birmingham, truncated by Arriva in the 1990s to serve no further north than Brownhills West. The situation is reminiscent of 2005, when Diamond attempted to cut the service at Aldridge and force users to change busses.
The loss of the 56 would be a bodyblow to Brownhills commuters and I wholly oppose it – we’ve fought for this service before and I think we’ll be called on to do so again.
As soon as I have further information, I’ll post it here – thanks to Gina for raising the issue.