56 bus service: Travel West Midlands to fill the gap


The 56 service is popular and busy. Image from great local bus enthusiast Walsall1955 and posted on Flickr.

Excellent news from Councillor Steve Wade on the future of the 56 bus service from Brownhills to Birmingham following his meeting with Travel West Midlands last Thursday.

TWM will be modifying the 936 service to cover the loss of the 56, which I think given the intractable position of Diamond on the matter is the best we can hope for.

As soon as I can find an official timetable, I’ll post it up.

I thank Steve for his hard work on the matter, and for all the hard work he does for Brownhills – on so many issues locally. Steve is the only one of the local Councillors to get involved or make public comment… and for that, I’d like to thank him publicly.

Steve posted on Facebook yesterday:

56 bus route update: Just received the following e-mail from National Express regarding the 56 route from Brownhills. They have confirmed that they will be taking over the whole route, so our school children, workers and elderly who use this service can continue to do so. Like to thank everyone who’s been involved with helping to keep this route for our residents. Unfortunately, there’s always losers and those residents on Lichfield and Ogley Road will now have to catch the new service on Brownhills High Street. Those residents who have bought travel cards for Diamond can get a refund, Diamond confirmed this at our meeting. Thanks, Steve.

Hi Stephen,

National Express West Midlands are pleased to advise that we will be amending our 934 – 936 group of bus services to provide a direct replacement for Diamond’s withdrawn 56 from 25th October. New service 937 will be introduced from this date, which will operate to the same line of route as the 56 between Brownhills West (Rising Sun) and Birmingham City Centre. The current 936 will be changed to operate during peak periods only, and will now operate to Brownhills West (rather than Ogley Hay) following consultation.

A copy of the new timetable is attached to this email.

– The 937 will operate every 20 minutes during peak periods and every 30 minutes during Monday to Saturday daytimes.

– Buses on the 937 will operate along Erdington Road (directly past St. Francis of Assisi School) and along Aldridge Road in Streetly.

– Between the 936 and 937, buses will run up to every 10 minutes during weekday peak periods between Brownhills, Shire Oak and Aldridge – and then onwards to Birmingham.

– Earlier weekday morning journeys will now operate.

– The 937 will be operated with our new ‘Platinum’ double deck vehicles – which are fitted with high back seating, free wifi, next stop passenger announcements and extra legroom.

– Evening and Sunday journeys on service 935A will be renumbered 937A to simplify the numbering series for passengers in Brownhills and Aldridge. Buses between Brownhills, Aldridge and Birmingham will now be numbered 936, 937 and 937A (evening and Sunday journeys additionally operate via Hundred Acre Road and George Frederick Road).

Our usual range of Travelcards will be valid for travel on service 937: Diamond only tickets will not be valid, and passengers are advised to contact Diamond Bus directly to obtain a refund if they have purchased season tickets valid for travel only on their services.

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16 Responses to 56 bus service: Travel West Midlands to fill the gap

  1. shirley groves says:

    Once again the people of ogley road are passed over, first we lost our Walsall bus now the Birmingham, it was a real handy bus service, I use it a lot

  2. Mark Johnson says:

    Sadly the truth of the matter is that Diamond were effectively forced off the route over the last few years with the 934-936 services and in parts the 997 service slowly chipping away at the 56 service little by little. In fairness Diamond were told by the drivers a few years back what was happening, but as is normally the case it was ignored. Shame to see the demise of the 56 but it was predicted 2 years ago

  3. Aiden Sutton says:

    Don’t feel too sorry for Diamond what happened to them they have done to others they give as good as they get its not passengers they care about its profits let me give you one example the 50 bus service in Birmingham operated by National Express a bus every 4 minutes an excellent service for passengers you think then Diamond can see money can made so puts a 10 service on same route so you see what goes around comes around and the losers are the public

  4. Ken Ferguson says:

    NX have introduced service 937 as a direct replacement for diamond 56 on 25 October. the route is identical and the times are similar to Diamond.NX 936 service is also extended from Brownhills to Brownhills West to give a 10 min service at peak
    Courtesy of cllr Garry Clark Walsall Wood

    • Thanks, Ken, that’s an accurate prĂ©cis of the post above.

      I’m sure you’ll join with me in thanking Steve Wade for the hard work he put into this issue.

      Best wishes

      • Ken Ferguson says:

        As you do not have direct access to Deputy leader A Andrew, Garry Clark or my E-mail account you cannot possibly know what has been done by other Councillors. But this result may be due to a concerted effort by all Councillors concerned for the benefit of Brownhills, Which should be the main priority.

        • Hello Ken.

          I tend to judge the efficacy of politicians by their communications with the public, not the comms I don’t care about, or care to see. What goes on between you and your party is irrelevant to anyone but you.

          This blog is open to you as it is to any other politician, but I know it was Steve that went to meetings with both TWM and Diamond (and asked for public attendees with him), I know that it was Steve who wrote letters; I know it was Steve who got the petition rolling; I know it was Steve & co who gathered signatures and set up a petition.

          Why? because he communicated with the public throughout on FB and in emails.

          I’m quite happy to communicate your news – good bad or indifferent – to Brownhills as a public service. This is a great way to get to between 10-20k readers a week.

          Mail me when you’ve got something to share BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com.

          You’re not daft and neither am I.

          Best wishes

  5. Adam says:

    Yes Brownhills Bob you are so right. It was the efforts of Steve and Co that got the 56 sorted. And the tory trying to take the credit. Really riled me that has him trying to take credit for Steves hard work.

  6. tkevcro says:

    So whose going to fill this gap?
    Well I come back of 3 weeks holiday and waiting for my usual bus in Lindon Road to Birmingham and guess what while I ‘ve been away its been diverted to accommodate other people who seem to matter more than the passengers in Brownhills Road and Lindon Road.My arthritic knees won’t take this half a mile walk so shame on all involved in changing this service.

    • Lindon Road appears well served for buses generally.

      The Birmingham services only in recent years started using Lindon Road.

      The decision to divert the service back to Shire Oak was made separately to the question of the 56, some time before.

      I’m not sure really that anyone is more important than anyone else, to be honest.

      Best wishes

  7. tkevcro says:

    ‘Lindon Road appears well severe for buses generally’ Not to Birmingham now Bob.

    You did get one thing right thou ‘The decision to divert the service back to Shire Oak was mad’

  8. tkevcro says:

    Sarcastic remarks are your strong point after all your always right 🙂

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