Extra buses for Boxing Day shoppers.
Shoppers heading to the Boxing Day sales can get to the shops on a bumper number of bus services this year.
There will be 40 subsidised routes across the region thanks to Centro, the delivery arm of the West Midlands Integrated Transport Authority. They will bolster 149 services operating at Sunday levels by National Express West Midlands that day and include the return of seven evening services in Coventry following a successful trial last year.
Cllr John McNicholas, the chair of the ITA Transport Delivery Committee, said the bus network was a reliable alternative to the car in getting people where they wanted to go. “Before 2002 there were no Boxing Day services until Centro began subsidising them, and since then passenger numbers have continued to grow,” he said.
“Last year 250,000 people used these subsidised services which shows that even though they may not be commercially viable there is still a considerable demand and therefore justifies using taxpayers’ money putting them on.”
On the bus network the only day with no service is Christmas Day. Between Monday December 21th and Wednesday December 23rd National Express will operate a Saturday service with some additional peak journeys on some routes. Many other operators will run a normal weekday service. School buses will not operate
On Christmas Eve a Saturday service will operate on most routes within the Network West Midlands area, including some extra early morning journeys. Bus operators Arriva, de Courcey, Hansons, Johnsons and Stagecoach will be providing a normal weekday service.
Most services running to and from the Network West Midlands area into Staffordshire, Shropshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire will operate normal weekday services although some services operated by Diamond, Stagecoach, Johnsons, First and Arriva may finish earlier than normal.
On Boxing Day a Sunday service will operate on most routes across the Network West Midlands area.
Most are from the start of normal Sunday service until last departures between 6-7pm, with higher frequency routes operating in the evening. First will operate an hourly 144 service between Birmingham and Worcester
Rail services will see normal services by all operators up to Christmas Eve, when they will start to reduce from lunchtime onwards. There will be no services Christmas Day or Boxing Day and then reduced services will run until January 4th when a normal timetable will resume.
On the Midland Metro a normal service will operate until close of service on Christmas Eve. There will be no service Christmas Day and a 15 minute service will operate on Boxing Day from 8.30am-7pm. A Sunday service will operate on Sunday December 27th and Monday December 28th, then a normal service from Tuesday December 29ht to New Year’s Eve. A Sunday service will operate on New Year’s Day then normal services will resume from Saturday January 2nd.
Ring and Ride will be offering a normal service from Monday December 21st to Christmas Eve. There will be no services from Christmas Day to Monday December 28th. A normal service will operate on December 29th, 30th, and New Year’s Eve. There will be no service on New Year’s Day.
For further details of all services check with operators or go to www.networkwestmidlands.com