The Coventry Road bus corridor is a group of services running along the Coventry Road in Birmingham, United Kingdom. The services operating along this corridor are numbered 60, X1 and X2.
60 / X2 Birmingham - South Yardley - Cranes Park / Solihull Edit
Service 60 links Birmingham with Cranes Park and service X2 links Birmingham with Solihull railway station. Both services serve the Coventry Road with the 60 travelling via Small Heath and service X2 using Small Heath Highway. The services are operated by National Express West Midlands from their Birmingham Central garage using double deck ADL Enviro400 (60) and ADL Enviro400 MMC (X2) buses (the latter in Platinum livery with specific route branding relief of dark green), and have suffered very little competition from other operators.
Service X2 was formally numbered 957 (now)
Services 60 serves the area of Small Heath, then both services serve Hay Mills, South Yardley (Swan Island) and Sheldon. St Andrews football ground (Birmingham City F.C.) in Bordesley is also served by service 60.
History of the routesEdit
The 60 route commenced in July 1951 when Birmingham City Transport replaced the Coventry Road trolleybuses with motor buses, and has remained unchanged since. Until the late 1980’s service 60 ran alternate with service 58 which ran through to the Coventry Road / Arden Oak Road junction. In the mid 1970’s WMPTE extended every other 58 to the Airport. For 20 years West Midlands Travel ran service 58 at peak times only before briefly operating it as an all day service with all journeys running to the Airport (although this had also occurred in the late 1990s under the Travel Your Bus branding). Although service 60 operates wholly within Birmingham it is undoubtedly also used by residents of Solihull given the Borough border runs immediately south of Coventry Road from near Gilbertstone Road to beyond Lode Lane.
Between 1994 & 1998 and 2011 & 2017 the Lyndon area of Olton was served by through routes to Birmingham via the Coventry Road - see section [i]Provision of bus routes in the Lyndon area of Olton[/i] below.
In the late 1990s a service 956 was introduced which served Coventry Road as far as Brays Road, terminating at Marston Green. In 2000 this was renumbered 56, diverted off Small Heath bypass and re-routed to serve Sheldon, then Sheaf lane and Common Lane back to Brays Road. The service ran twice an hour Mon to Sat daytimes. In the mid 1990s the service was truncated to operate peak times and only between Sheldon and Marston Green, beforing being withdrawn shortly afterward.
Until 2007 and between 2011 & 2017 some Coventry Road services turned north through Yardley. These services originated from Coleshill via Marston Green service 161/171, which from 1986 served stops on the Coventry Road (rather than running non-stop down it). In 1990 this service was renumbered 59. Around the same time local minibuses were introduced that included a link for the first time between Lea Hall and Shard End. In the mid-late 1990s service 59 became route 590A/590C until the service was discontinued 10 years later. The version of service 59 that subsequently ran from 2011 performed a number of functions. It contributed to service provision on the Coventry Road via Small Heath, it shared service provision on Church Road (north) and Queens Road, and it served Whittington Oval and Lea Hall Road. It also provided a link between Lea Hall and Shard End, a link between the Kendrick Avenue area and the Chester Road shops/Morrisons, and it provided a service along Fordbridge Road in Kingshurst. These attributes were not enough however to prevent the service being withdrawn in June 2017.
The X2 was originally Midland Red service 176. The service commenced running in October 1955 and retained the number 176 through the WMPTE operated years until West Midlands Travel renamed the route as 57. In 1992 Your Bus introduced a rival service 57. As it ran via Hobs Moat Road rather than Old Lode Lane, WMT retained the service when they took over Your Bus, running the 57Y alternate with the parent service and renaming the variant 57A from 1997(?). The 57A, which had only ever run Monday to Saturday daytimes, was discontinued in 2010 when the 57 also became service 957 bypassing Small Heath. In 2015 the 957 became a Platinum route along with service 900 and then in December 2016 was renamed X2.
X1 Birmingham - CoventryEdit
Service X1 links Birmingham to Coventry via Small Heath Highway, South Yardley (Swan Island), Sheldon, Birmingham Airport & NEC, Meriden Parkhill and Allesley. The service is operated by National Express West Midlands from their Birmingham Central garage using double deck ADL Enviro400 MMC buses in silver and grey Platinum livery with specific route branding relief of light green.
History of routeEdit
The route was originally operated by Midland Red as service number 159 and remained unchanged after transferring to WMPTE (apart from certain journeys during 1976 running as 959 bypassing Meriden) until May 1985 when the Monday to Saturday service was extended from Birmingham to Halesowen, relaunched as a flagship Timesaver service and re-numbered 900. The service was also diverted onto the Small Heath bypass. At deregulation in October 1986 the service was additionally extended beyond Halesowen to Hasbury and the now Sunday only 159 replaced by a 7-day operation of the 900. In September 1988 the extension west of Birmingham was discontinued (the Birmingham to Hasbury section became route 19 which was subsequently withdrawn in April 2008).
The 900 journey time was then 60 minutes end to end, in recent years however as a result of additional routing, more stopping places and congestion, the end to end journey time has increased by around 40% which has made the service less attractive for those travelling between the two cities. The Timesaver brand was phased out around the turn of the century but in 2015 the route became NXWM's first Platinum route operated by ADL Enviro400 MMC buses that include coach style seating and in December 2016 the service was renumbered X1.
Routes via Small HeathEdit
Service 60 runs every 8 minutes Monday - Saturday daytime and every 20 minutes evenings. On Sundays the service runs every 10 minutes between Birmingham and Yardley, Swan Island with alternate journeys (every 20 minutes) extending to Cranes Park.
Semi Express routes via Small Heath HighwayEdit
Service X1 runs every 20 minutes Monday - Saturday daytimes and half houly Sunday daytime, with a half hourly frequency to the Airport / hourly to Coventry each evening & an hourly night service.
Service X2 runs every 20 minutes Monday - Saturday daytimes, and half hourly evenings and Sundays.
Services X1/E & X2 together create a frequency of every 10 minutes Monday - Saturday daytimes and every 15 minutes evenings and Sundays between Birmingham, Hay Mills, Yardley (Swan) & Sheldon.
- WMPTE ex Midland Red service 159
- WMPTE service 176
- Your Bus service 57Y
- WMT service 900 'Timesaver' livery
- TWM service 57
- TWM service 59
- NXWM service X1
Provision of bus routes in the Lyndon area of OltonEdit
Lyndon is an electoral ward within Solihull MBC. It is not widely used as a place name, but for the purposes of looking at bus service provision here we are considering the areas of Olton and adjacent districts bounded by Coventry Road to the north, Warwick Road and Dovehouse Lane to the south, Hobs Moat Road to the east and Yardley Road to the west. The corners of this area constitute the four localities bus services through Lyndon can connect to, namely Acocks Green, Yardley (Swan), Sheldon and (toward) Solihull, with the first pair of these presenting the opportunity for onward connection to Birmingham. The most frequent service through Lyndon is service 58 which runs every 20 minutes Monday to Saturday daytimes between Solihull and Yardley (Swan) via Olton Station.
Traditionally Lincoln Road North was served by Birmingham bus 44 but as Corporation buses did not venture beyond the city boundary it fell to Midland Red to provide the remaining services in the area. These were the hourly (Mon to Sat daytimes) service 173 Acocks Green to Yardley (Swan) via Olton Station and the full length of Lyndon Road, and service 174 running every 20 minutes (30 mins eves, hourly Sun) between Acocks Green and Sheldon via Olton Station, Dene Court Road, Castle Lane, Summerfield Road, Highwood Avenue, Dove House Lane, Lode Lane and Hobs Moat Road to Jillcot Road. The obvious thing missing from this service provision was a link to Solihull hence in 1972, possibly following discussions with the recently formed WMPTE, Midland Red replaced service 173 with service S57 which linked Lyndon Road, and a loop via Wagon Lane to Solihull via Ulleries Road, the full length of Highwood Avenue and Lode Lane (as well as serving Streetsbrook Road beyond Solihull).
After taking over services 174 and S57 in December 1973, WMPTE dropped the S prefix in June 1975 whilst increasing the frequency of service 57 to half hourly Mon-Sat daytimes (and hourly evenings from Nov 75). At the same time service 174 was renumbered 167 (and extended via a U-turn at Acocks Green to Shirley via Sharmans Cross, partly replacing ex-Midland Red services 170/172). This service ran half hourly Mon-Sat and hourly on Suns. Just 5 months later in November 1975 the 167 became the 186 and was routed via Ulverley Green Road rather than Dene Court Road (as well as serving Solihull beyond Sharmans Cross). In July 1977 the 57 was directly replaced by an extension to the 189 Shirley Station to Solihull service. Later in 1977, service 186 was withdrawn and replaced by a re-routing of service 199 (Castle Vale->Airport->Sheldon->Solihull) from Sheldon to Acocks Green via Olton Station although the evening and Sunday service was dropped. In the early-mid 1980s service 199 was diverted to run from the Airport to Solihull via Damsonwood. At the same time service number 174 was revived, now running Airport->Sheldon->Olton->Acocks Green->Hall Green (The Baldwin).
In October 1986 WMPTE’s bus operations became West Midlands Travel and by the following year they had introduced the Solihull and Acocks Green minibus services. For Lyndon this meant the Acocks Green to Sheldon section of service 174 was replaced by minibus service ‘S’ (running every 15 mins / hourly eves & Sun, and including an additional return loop via Melton avenue), and the Solihull to Lyndon section of service 189 (which had been operated under tender for a year by Solihull District Omnibus) was replaced by minibus service ‘Y’ (additionally via Thurlaston Avenue to Wagon Lane then Garretts Green and Yardley to Acocks Green, initially running every 30 mins / hourly eves & Sun, then every 20 mins and extended to The Baldwin from October 1989). WMT also instigated a small extension to service 44 (which had remained unchanged throughout WMPTE’s operation) via a loop of Woodcock Lane North and Clay Lane. In June 1990 service 44 was renamed as service 37A and reduced to peaks only. To compensate, minibus service ‘R’ was introduced running Acocks Green via Lincoln Road North, Pierce Avenue, Richmond Avenue and Barn Lane to Woodcock Lane North with Mon to Sat daytime journeys additionally extended via Gilberstone Road to Yardley (Swan). In 1992 minibus service ‘S’ was renumbered back to service 174. Not only was this route a replication of the original service 174 but it was also once again operated by Midland Red (West) after they won the tender to operate the service (outside of peak journeys) from Centro (WMPTE). Shortly afterward minibus service ‘Y’ was also renumbered to service 42 and minibus ‘R’ to service 32. Acocks Green to Lincoln Road North and Pierce Avenue was also now served by service 38 which then ran south on Richmond Road to Olton Station and hence to Solihull via Sharmans Cross. Service 32 was subsequently extended beyond Acocks Green, first via Pool Farm Road to Gospel Oak then beyond to Shirley. As all of the 174, 42, 38 & 32 ran Mon – Sat daytimes only, Centro sponsored an evening and Sunday service 674 which followed the 42 route from Solihull as far as Lyndon Road then Barn Lane and Lincoln Road to Acocks Green. In 1993 service 174 was directly replaced by minibus services 675 & 676 which additionally ran on to Cranes Park or Marston Green.
In 1994(?) Lyndon Road gained a direct link to Birmingham when a service 56 was introduced on the Coventry Road running as far as Lyndon Road then Ulleries Road and Moordown Avenue to the Castle Lane roundabout. This ran every 20 mins Mon-Sat daytimes with one journey an hour additionally extended via Castle Lane to Olton Station. In March 1996 service 56 was replaced by service 56Y which additionally ran via The Wheatsheaf and Melton Avenue as well as continuing beyond Olton Station to serve Solihull via Warwick Road. In 1998(?) services 56Y, 675 & 676 were withdrawn and replaced by service 38Y which ran from Birmingham to the Airport via Acocks Green and Sheldon. Given that from Castle Lane this followed the 56Y/42 route via Moordown Avenue, Ulleries Road and Lyndon Road then on to Melton Avenue, so as to maintain a service to Summerfield Road a variant of the 42 was commenced, the 42C, which diverted off the northern section of Highwood Avenue (before deviating again beyond Wagon Lane to terminate in Sheldon), each service running every 30 mins Mon-Sat daytimes. In the late 1990s service 674 was replaced by service 43 which additionally ran via Thulaston Avenue, Wagon Lane, Marcot Road, Gilbertstone Avenue and Woodcock Lane North, rather than Barn Lane. Meanwhile service 38 was replaced by service 71. By the end of the decade service 43 had been withdrawn leaving the area without an evening or Sunday service, whilst service 71 was replaced by service 40, which in turn was replaced by service 30 in 2001. Also that year the Y suffix was dropped from service 38Y before the service was curtailed to run Acocks Green to the Airport only the following year and reduced to an hourly service. In 2003 service 38 was replaced by an extension of service 37A (ie. same route except from Birmingham once again then additionally via Lincoln Road North). In 2005 service 42 was replaced by loop services 41A/41C (which diverted beyond Acocks Green to Solihull via Streetsbrook Road, and visa versa), which then, through changes to the route in Hall Green reverted to a linear service, 41, the following year. Also in 2006 service 37A was renumbered to service 38.
In January 2009, as part of the Solihull bus network review, service 38 was withdrawn. The Acocks Green to Sheldon section was replaced by service S12 however the new service ran direct to Olton Station and Castle Lane then via Hobs Moat Road between Castle Lane and Ulleries Road (rather than Moordown Avenue). After serving Ulleries Road the new service then turned south on Lyndon Road to serve Richmond Road, Pierce Avenue, Lincoln Road North and Barn Lane before running Lyndon Road, Melton Avenue and Hobs Moat Road to Sheldon. The S12 ran hourly and was operated by Silverline Travel. Also as part of this review, service 42C was discontinued with service 41 instead diverted via Summerfield Road, and service 30 was renumbered to service S3. In January 2010 services 41 and 32 were withdrawn. Replacement service 42 ran along the 41 route as far as Yardley (Swan) then via the 32 route to Acocks Green. In June 2010 service S3 reverted to service no. 30 but now operated by Central Connect under the ‘Signature’ branding. In October 2010 service S12 was withdrawn.
In March 2011, as part of the East Birmingham & North Solihull bus review, service 42 was withdrawn whilst the current 58 service was introduced. This ran from Birmingham along the Coventry Road then via a part of the 42 route between Yardley (Swan) and Richmond Road then via the southernmost section of Lyndon Road before covering the section of the 42 route between Ulleries Road and Solihull. At the same time service S12, withdrawn 5 months previously, was finally replaced by new service 99, operated by Central Connect, running along the same route as the S12 between Acocks Green and Ulleries Road (except via Moordown Avenue rather than Hobs Moat Road) then picking up the Lyndon Road / Thurlaston Avenue / Wagon Lane / Sheldon route vacated by the withdrawal of service 42, before going on to terminate in Lea Village. In February 2012 service 99 was diverted to run from Acocks Green via Lincoln Road, Lincoln Road North, Woodcock Lane North and Gilbertstone Avenue (then on to Sheldon and beyond via Marcot Road and the end of Wagon Lane), thus reintroducing a link between Gilbertstone Avenue & Woodcock Lane North and Acocks Green. To compensate the change in service 99, new service 96 (also hourly and also ran by Central Connect) ran the former 99 route from Acocks Green as far as Ulleries Road then Lyndon Road as far as Barn Lane, Thurlaston Avenue in the opposite direction to previously, and finally to Sheldon, outbound via Melton Avenue, returning via Coventry Road. In 2012 Central Connect became Blue Diamond although service 30 retained its ‘Signature’ branding.
Iin 2013 Fridays only service S16 commenced which largely mirrored route 58 as it ran at the time between Solihull and Yardley (Swan) but additionally serving the full length of Highwood Avenue, the eastern ends of Castle Lane and Ulleries Road, Lyndon Road between Barn Lane and Melton Avenue and Wagon Lane between Thurlaston Avenue and Marcot Road. In addition the service provides the central section of Lyndon Road, Thurlaston Avenue and Marcot Road with a service to Solihull and Yardley (Swan). Five journeys are made toward Solihull and four toward Yardley (Swan). The service is tendered to iGo (wmsnt Ltd).
In April 2015 iGo also won the contract for services 96 and 99 before the services were extended beyond Acocks Green to Hall Green and Shirley respectively in April 2016.
The most recent change came in June 2017. The preceding six years had represented the longest time Lyndon had been connected to both Birmingham and Solihull by a through route, but this came to an end with service 58 instead terminating at Yardley (Swan). The route was also altered to serve Olton Station and the full length of Castle Lane rather than Ulleries Road, Moordown Avenue, Summerfield Road and Highwood Avenue. At the same time service 99 was extended from Lea Village to Shard End due to the withdrawal of NXWM service 59.
- WMPTE service 57
- WMPTE service 199
- WMT service S
- WMT services Y & R
- WMT service 42
- MWR sevice 675
- TYB service 56Y
- TYB service 38Y
- TWM service 37A
- Silverline service S12
- Blue Diamond service 96
- TWM service 58
- iGo service 99
Ride the former route of service 58Edit
The route of service 58 through Lyndon between 2011 and 2017