Regular readers will remember the ‘saga’ from last year, where First curtailed their 144 service, which saw NX West Midlands introduce a ‘new’ 144A service with support from Worcestershire County Council (WCC), which operated between Longbridge and Bromsgrove, via Rubery and Catshill.
At the time, it was launched with an ‘irregular’ 70min frequency Monday to Saturday, with NX’s aim being to eventually ‘integrate it into our network’.
From Sunday 16th April, the 144A will be withdrawn, but the current 20 service that operates from QE Hospital to Cofton Hackett via Selly Oak and Northfield via Bristol Road will be revised and extended from Longbridge to Bromsgrove via the current 144A route.
The Bromsgrove Standard broke the news today:
THE 144A bus route introduced when First Worcester terminated the long-running 144 in Catshill last year, is set to be extended.
From April 16, the route, which currently runs between Bromsgrove to Longbridge, via Rubery, will also serve Northfield and Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital. And the bus will run more frequently and on Sundays – up until now, it operated Monday to Saturday every 70 minutes.
After a review of the route and a tender process, National Express West Midlands (NXWM) will continue to run the service when the changes come into force next month.
The new-look service will also run along the route of the current 20 (directly along Bristol Road).
From Longbridge (Bristol Road South), buses will journey along Lickey Road, Edgewood Road and Cliff Rock Road (towards Bromsgrove), Leach Green Lane (from Bromsgrove), Leach Green Lane (northern end), New Road and then to the same route as the current 144A between Rubery and Bromsgrove.“144A bus service to be extended to Northfield and Birmingham’s QE Hospital” – Bromsgrove Standard, 16th March 2023
Cofton Hackett should continue to be served Monday to Saturday daytime by the 27 service from Longbridge, unless there are any other further changes that I am currently unaware of.
Featured image courtesy of Tony Hunter and used with permission (c) WM Buses In Photos 2022