Council committee calls for better bus links in Tamworth

Tuesday, 29th July 2014

Improving bus services to Tamworth Railway Station and gaining a better understanding of the needs of passengers are two suggestions put forward by Tamworth Borough Council’s Aspire & Prosper Scrutiny committee.

The committee – chaired by Cllr Tina Clements – had an in-depth discussion about bus services currently operating in Tamworth and ways they could be improved in the future, after which they agreed to form a sub-group to put together a survey of bus use in Tamworth.

The committee is made up of councillors from different political parties and puts issues affecting Tamworth under the spotlight. The new sub-group which will draw up the bus survey is made up of Cllr Andrew James, Cllr Pat Standen and scrutiny committee vice-chair, Cllr Joy Goodall.

Cllr Andrew James presented a report on public transport, focusing on the number of bus services operating in and around Tamworth, and looking at how many went via the railway station.

Cllr James said: “We have seen an increase in the number of buses which have a direct link to the railway station. Ten of the 31 buses now stop there – a number which has increased during the past two years – providing a valuable service for commuters.

“Despite this, there are still a number of areas which do not have a direct link. I would be keen to find out if passengers would like more direct buses to the station and also to look at the number of people using the different services across Tamworth.”

Belgrave, Coton Green, Hockley, Kerria Centre, Perrycrofts, Stonydelph and Wilnecote do not currently have a direct bus link.

Cllr Tina Clements, Chairman of the Aspire and Prosper Scrutiny Committee, said: “Tamworth has an excellent bus service across the borough and I would like to thank the companies which provide these.

“However, we would like to look further at what is available and get feedback from those people who currently use the buses and those who do not. We want to find out more information about what residents want from the service and how it could be improved in the future. Public transport provides a vital lifeline for thousands of people and we want to make sure what we have available is right for our residents.”

The committee also heard that there are between 2.2 million and 2.6 million train journeys to and from Tamworth Railway Station every year – and improving bus services to the station could help residents access better employment opportunities.

This is in line with the council’s ‘aspire and prosper’ priority, which includes raising aspiration and attainment levels. Using public transport also has a number of health benefits.