Bus operator ARRIVA has announced that it intends to withdraw its X31 Cannock to Birmingham service ahead of schedule reports Liberal Democrat Councillor Ian Shires.
The move by ARRIVA to withdraw the service from Saturday 1st September was not unexpected. They had flagged up that they were having difficulties to the Labour run West Midlands Passenger Transport Authority Centro earlier this year pointing out that they were running the service at a considerable loss.
ARRIVA had asked Centro and South Staffs to help maintain the service through a subsidy and had also looked at ways of modifying the way the service was run in an attempt to make it viable. Both idaes have drawn a blank.
“This ground breaking service had not only proved popular with commuters seeking links to Birmingham to access work, shops and leisure” said Ian “It has also opened up local links between New Invention, Short Heath, Shepwell Green and Bentley. Something that should be noted by other potential service providers” continued Ian.
Willenhall Liberal Democrat Focus Team Councillors have urged Centro to seek a new operator for the X31. They have also asked that if a Cannock to Birmingham link proves impossible to achieve then Centro should explore with bus operators the possibility of linking the service to Wolverhampton via Wednesfield. “This was the original suggestion put forward to Centro as part of the extensive consultation we did in response to the Bus Review carried out last year” concluded Ian.
So come on National Express West Midlands, Diamond Bus and Midland; take up the challenge. Give bus users the service they want and need!!