Bus service changes hit Halesowen

First published in Local

ELDERLY bus passengers will become “prisoners in their own homes” a Halesowen councillor has warned after the axing of bus routes.

The changes, by National Express West Midlands, also terminate direct bus services from Halesowen, Blackheath, Cradley Heath and Old Hill to Russells Hall Hospital.

Largely elderly and non-car owning Halesowen residents around Lodgefield Road and Station Road are no longer on a bus route following the demise of the 297/297A service from Sunday.

It has been replaced by an extended 241Dudley – Blackheath – Halesowen service going to Old Hill, Cradley Heath and Merry Hill, but the route will be via Haden Hill Road instead.

Objectors fear the alternative 4H in Gorsty Hill Road and the number 53 at the Beauty Bank and Station Road junction will be impractical for the frail and infirm because of the steep hill they would have to walk.

Belle Vale councillor Bob James, whose ward covers Lodgefield Road and Station Road said the bus company had failed to notify him.

He said: “The loss of this service is appalling as there are a lot of elderly residents in the area and they will be made prisoners in their own homes.”

He urged bus users to write to passenger transport authority Centro “to complain bitterly” about the loss of the 297 vowed to send his own protests.

The change, coupled with the withdrawal of the 205 from Blackheath and Dudley, means there are no direct service to the area’s main hospital.

A statement from National Express West Midlands said: “Changing local travel patterns have required us to review and alter some routes. While some areas will see increased services, unfortunately these changes will also mean that buses will no longer travel down Lodgefield Road and Station Road. We have worked hard to ensure that residents were given notice of these changes and that they have as small an impact on existing customers as possible.

“Residents will now have an improved 241 service at the end of Station Road and the frequent 4H service at the end of Lodgefield Road. We apologise for any inconvenience these changes cause.”

Comments (6)

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3:19pm Wed 23 Jul 14

Phil W Cooper says...

CENTRO are absolutely useless the quicker this government disbands it the better
Buses go empty on routes to factories that are not there any more but the Labour Councillors who run it are on loads of money so it will never change
CENTRO are absolutely useless the quicker this government disbands it the better Buses go empty on routes to factories that are not there any more but the Labour Councillors who run it are on loads of money so it will never change Phil W Cooper
  • Score: 2

11:49am Thu 24 Jul 14

brightside carol says...

In this day it's use it or lose it, if a company isn't making money of a product they withdraw it. It's the same with a bus route, if it isnt making money why carry on running it ?

I've been on the 297 and a motorbike with a side car would be sufficient, why waste the money on the off chance that an old biddy may want to catch the bus ?

Same goes for the stickley end, personally i would have extended it to sedgley so it ran sedgley to merry hill, thus giving the blue & purple rinses a direct link to russells hall.

If the routes are needed that much whats wrong with another company taking them on, arriva diamond hansons or even wmsnt could run them but not one of them are interested for the same reason, it's not cost effective.

I think it's a waste of tax payers money for councillors to get involved, it's ridiculous. Councillors have proved that they know nothing about money management.

I've used the 127 which replaced the 205 between dudley and blackheath and even though the drivers arent as friendly there does seem to be a lot more people using it.
In this day it's use it or lose it, if a company isn't making money of a product they withdraw it. It's the same with a bus route, if it isnt making money why carry on running it ? I've been on the 297 and a motorbike with a side car would be sufficient, why waste the money on the off chance that an old biddy may want to catch the bus ? Same goes for the stickley end, personally i would have extended it to sedgley so it ran sedgley to merry hill, thus giving the blue & purple rinses a direct link to russells hall. If the routes are needed that much whats wrong with another company taking them on, arriva diamond hansons or even wmsnt could run them but not one of them are interested for the same reason, it's not cost effective. I think it's a waste of tax payers money for councillors to get involved, it's ridiculous. Councillors have proved that they know nothing about money management. I've used the 127 which replaced the 205 between dudley and blackheath and even though the drivers arent as friendly there does seem to be a lot more people using it. brightside carol
  • Score: 2

1:09pm Thu 24 Jul 14

scott414 says...

national express change the 297 every year, it used to be Dudley to Stourbridge, then gornal to merry hell, then gornal to Halesowen surely it couldn't have been losing money on all them routes ??

I know the stickley estate don't get used much because i live where the route used to come but when It went to dudley there was more people on it i now have to use the 257.

I agree with brightside carol they should have extended it to sedgley, so it was sedgley to merry hell. cant comment on the 205 cuz ive only ever seen it a couple times but then there was only 5 or 6 people on it
national express change the 297 every year, it used to be Dudley to Stourbridge, then gornal to merry hell, then gornal to Halesowen surely it couldn't have been losing money on all them routes ?? I know the stickley estate don't get used much because i live where the route used to come but when It went to dudley there was more people on it i now have to use the 257. I agree with brightside carol they should have extended it to sedgley, so it was sedgley to merry hell. cant comment on the 205 cuz ive only ever seen it a couple times but then there was only 5 or 6 people on it scott414
  • Score: 0

10:47am Fri 25 Jul 14

brightside carol says...

The reason for change is to improve a service, not sure who will use the 297 now though as theres not that many people who will come out of hospital and want to go to merry hill
The reason for change is to improve a service, not sure who will use the 297 now though as theres not that many people who will come out of hospital and want to go to merry hill brightside carol
  • Score: 0

10:50am Fri 25 Jul 14

brightside carol says...

They should have cut the halesowen end and extended the gornal end to sedgley, its the only place in dudley without a direct link to merry hill and one of the only places where there is no direct link to russells hall, with the amount of pensioners in sedgley i'm surprised that no other company has picked up on this idea yet.
They should have cut the halesowen end and extended the gornal end to sedgley, its the only place in dudley without a direct link to merry hill and one of the only places where there is no direct link to russells hall, with the amount of pensioners in sedgley i'm surprised that no other company has picked up on this idea yet. brightside carol
  • Score: 0

3:25pm Thu 31 Jul 14

Phil W Cooper says...

How 2 faced can Labour get ? I see Labour Councillors and the Labour wannabe MP are up in arms about the buses.

They should hang their heads in shame and ask their Labour mates on CENTRO on up to £27000 pa + Councillors money why Labour cancelled the buses

https://www.centro.o
rg.uk/about-us/counc
illors-plus-committe
es/notices/scheme-of
-allowances/
Labour create the problem then pretend to sort it ,disgusting
How 2 faced can Labour get ? I see Labour Councillors and the Labour wannabe MP are up in arms about the buses. They should hang their heads in shame and ask their Labour mates on CENTRO on up to £27000 pa + Councillors money why Labour cancelled the buses https://www.centro.o rg.uk/about-us/counc illors-plus-committe es/notices/scheme-of -allowances/ Labour create the problem then pretend to sort it ,disgusting Phil W Cooper
  • Score: 0

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