Outer Circle Split!

The following was published in the Birmingham Post on Thursday the 8th of July 2021 belatedly letting Outer Circle users of the changes to the route from the 4th of July.

The piece goes on to say it is a temporary arrangement which will end in the autumn – let’s just hope it gets back to normal soon!

Legendary number 11 bus route to split in two in Birmingham after 95 years

The 25-mile route has run since 1926 and is Europe’s longest urban bus route

Birmingham Post

Mark CardwellLocal Democracy Reporter

14:14, 1 JUL 2021

The legendary number 11 bus route will be split in two from July 4 2021 – partly due to delays in Perry Barr caused by ongoing works.

The step is intended to improve the service for 96 per cent of customers – but some customers will have to get off and get on a different bus in order to complete their journeys.

A temporary measure has been introduced where the route will be split into two overlapping routes until the work is completed – expected to be in the autumn.

The route – which has run since 1926 and is Europe’s longest urban bus route at 25 miles – connects outer suburbs of the city and has run in a continuous loop.

Buses are due to run every eight minutes but delays of up to an hour have been occurring at Perry Barr, where road works are taking to place as part of a £700 million regeneration of the area.

Delays of more than 20 minutes are “common” at other points along the route, according to a briefing note from Transport for West Midlands seen by the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

The note states: “National Express have reported that it has become almost impossible to maintain reliability and to provide an acceptable level of service to their customers.

“Often, the only recourse available when a bus has been significantly delayed is to take it out of service and ‘adjust’ it by instructing the driver to run out of service to another point on the route.

“This further creates gaps in service and exacerbates those caused by late buses.”

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The anticlockwise route (11A) will now split at Acocks Green and again at Perry Barr with a stop change at Erdington – from Wood End Road to Sutton New Road.

The clockwise route (11C) will split at Erdington and again at Acocks Green and buses will run along Hamstead Road, Church Hill Road and Birchfield Road between Handsworth and Perry Barr to avoid congestion on Wellington Road.

National Express West Midlands has confirmed anyone changing buses in Acocks Green, Perry Barr or Erdington will not need to buy two separate tickets and should show the current ticket to the driver to continue at no additional cost.

Every section of the route will be served in both directions.

More information is available on the National Express website: https://nxbus.co.uk/west-midlands/service-updates/11a11c-outer-circle-route-changes

Opposition groups on Birmingham City Council have criticised the council leadership for the disruption.