The controversy over the withdrawal of the Diamond Buses 56 service from Brownhills to Walsall refuses to die down, and there’s now an online petition you can sign in support of the service and Councillor Steve Wade’s efforts to save it.
There is also a paper petition in several High Street businesses in Brownhills, and I believe Steve and the team will be out this weekend talking to the public and collecting signatures – more details on that when I have them.
I think it’s fair to say that so far Diamond Buses have been fairly intractable on the matter, despite being implored to reconsider in numerous emails and a face to face meeting.
There is some hope however, as the councillor has a meeting this week with Travel West Midlands to discuss their possible moves to ameliorate the loss of service.
One of the best ways of getting to speed with this is to follow Steve on Facebook, where he posts regular updates – not just on this issue, but on all his ongoing work.
Steve posted the following on Sunday, 27th September 2015:
IMPORTANT UPDATE: Re 56 Cancellation. I have received an e-mail from National Express regarding a replacement service for the 56 (enclosed). I have asked for a meeting on Thursday afternoon. If this is agreed, I will ask their representative if a number of Brownhills’ residents can attend as on the last one with Diamond. It sounds very promising and we just need to ensure that we put forward our case as to how important this route is for our school children, our workers/commuters and our elderly. Come on!!!
I’m writing with regard to the registered withdrawal of the Diamond 56 between Brownhills and Birmingham and wondered if you’d be free for a short time this week coming for us to discuss the options that we (National Express) are considering to provide a replacement. We’re aware of the significance and importance of the links that the 56 provides to so many people: I’ve read your comments and those of others made in the last week or so and completely agree with the sentiments expressed. I regularly use buses on this corridor and have done for many years, and so am completely au fait with the extent of demand and the need for specific links provided by the 56 to be replaced. I’m pleased to be able to advise that we’re working on replacement service proposals at the moment – and although the detail still needs to be finalised I’m hopeful that we’ll be able to reach an acceptable outcome that meets the needs of those currently using the 56. Time is obviously short given the imminent pending withdrawal and I’m hoping to be able to draw conclusions by the end of this week. If you’d be able and willing to meet, I’d be very pleased to do so at your convenience: please just let me know your availability.
He followed this yesterday (29th September 2015) with the following:
Just to confirm that we have talks arranged with National Express on Thursday regarding their company taking over the 56 route from Diamond. Once again, we will put our case for our Brownhills school children, our workers and our elderly. Let’s hope we can get National Express to commit to a full service for all our residents. I will keep everyone posted on the outcome of the talks. Cheers.
If you’re affected and unhappy that the service is being withdrawn, you can email Steve at the following address: Cllr dot Stephen dot Wade at walsall dot gov dot uk, or via his Facebook page here. You can contact Diamond Busses to complain directly using this web form, or call them on 0121 322 2222.
Comment here or mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com.