Is anyone else irritated by the recent changes to the 002 and 004 buses? I was first caught out by the change to the 004 route, now only running between Halesowen and Harborne rather than Merry Hill and Harborne. I failed to read the small black notices on some of the buses that announced the change. There were no notices at the Halesowen Bus station in advance of the change and the timetables at local bus stops were not updated until later in the week of change.

This change meant that the service for me changed to a half hourly one instead of a more convenient , approximately, 15 minute service. Since that change I have found the service inconsistent and unreliable so now use an alternative route on my return journeys from Halesowen.

I am fortunate that I can do that albeit meaning a longer walk. I then discovered to get to Mucklow Hill I now needed to use two buses and that they didn't connect.

The 002 arriving in Halesowen as the 004 pulled out meaning a half hour wait or another walk. I chose to walk. Last week I noticed more small black notices and blocked the aisle of the bus to read it, thinking this time I will be prepared. It announced changes to the 002 and 004 timetables. So on Saturday I tried to get the new timetables, the information centre in Halesowen was shut on Saturday morning and the information centre in Merry Hill had no knowledge of the change. Today, Monday the information at my nearest bus stop has not been changed so I went online. The 002 timetable states it runs from 25/10/09 to 27/10/09 what then?

The 004 now leaves Halesowen 8 minutes before the 002 arrives into Halesowen, now only 22 minutes to wait for a connection up Mucklow Hill. An improvement? A bus service ? I think not.

Linda Ellis, Via email