Diamond Midlands Review

Review of Diamond Bus Services & Fares

16 June 2022

West Midlands Worcester and Warwickshire

Diamond Bus recently confirmed that some of its services are currently under review with the risk of service cuts from 24th July & 28th August 2022.

Vital Government funding that enabled essential bus services to continue operating during the Coronavirus pandemic will end later this year. Government funding gave a life line to bus companies over the previous two years, however the long reaching effects of the pandemic are still being felt by bus operators with passenger numbers still dramatically lower than pre-covid levels.

Whilst we appreciate the news about proposed service cuts causes concern to passengers, we want to reassure you we are doing all we can to resolve this situation.

As a company we do not want to cut services, but the current climate means that the majority of our services run at considerable loss. We have been in discussion with Local Authorities, MPs and councillors to make them aware of the situation and hope that by working together we can collectively improve this position.

It is also important to state that this current dilemma is not only a Diamond Bus issue, it is an industry-wide problem created by accelerating operating costs and a reduction in the number of people using buses post COVID. Without the intervention of additional subsidy bus services will need to be reviewed for either service reduction or withdrawal altogether.

Diamond Bus has continued to be committed to providing a viable and desirable network in the Midlands. We have worked hard to meet the challenges of operating in a demanding market, by investing in new buses and better technology, whilst keeping fares affordable for passengers.

Ultimately we are committed to growing our services to keep communities moving. As we move forward from a very difficult period during Covid we want to encourage passengers back to support their local bus network. We have continued investing in our business to provide a strong local network, but in order to maintain that long term we need passenger levels to return to how they were before the pandemic.

Currently, we envisage that reviews will be undertaken over the coming months, with service changes and fare revisions to be implemented by 28th August 2022.

The impact on service reliability:

To combat current financial pressures, we have been reviewing how we operate our services more effectively, which has included interworking services and reducing stand time as labour is 50% of our operating cost.  In the short term, this has meant we have had some transitional operating issues which we are working hard to manage and reduce. 

In Warwickshire specifically, operational issues have occurred as a result of our need to quickly build knowledge around a complex set of routes and timetables following the Johnsons Excelbus acquisition. Over the last three weeks of operation reliability on our Stratford bus services has significantly improved.

After identifying the latest issues we have now put resources in place to increase supervision and making Peak-Time adjustments to put additional running time in. We are continuing to review our changes to see what is workable, both for the company and passengers

Although unfortunately delays have been experienced on some services, over the whole Diamond network we can assure residents that we are not suffering high levels of lost mileage, and that our services are running.

If customers are experiencing problems with their service we always request that they let us know.  The details they provide helps us to focus our attention and to analyse the impact of the changes we have made. We would encourage customers to get in touch with us directly at comments@diamondbuses.com

Responses to customers concerns:

Diamond are aware that customers currently have some concerns regarding our proposed service review and complaints about the current operational issues that we have encountered in some of our service areas. We have identified some key themes that have caused concern and wish to respond to customers regarding these issues. 

Please follow this link to find some recent frequently highlighted comments, we hope that our below responses will give customers further insight into the reasons behind our decisions. 

Confirmed July Service Changes:

Service Route Change Date Details
1/2 Stratford to Moreton in Marsh 24/07/22 Withdrawn due to end of Warwickshire CC contract*
3 Stratford upon Avon to Lower Quinton 24/07/22 Withdrawn due to end of Warwickshire CC contract*
5 Stratford upon Avon to Justins Avenue 24/07/22 Withdrawn due to end of Warwickshire CC contract*
15 Stratford to West Green Drive 24/07/22 Withdrawn due to end of Warwickshire CC contract*
27 Stratford to Broad Marston 24/07/22 Withdrawn due to end of Warwickshire CC contract*
34 Kings Health to Birmingham 24/07/22 Withdrawn due to end of TfWM contract**
X50 Birmingham to Chipping Norton 24/07/22 Withdrawn due to end of Warwickshire CC contract*
75/75A Stratford upon Avon to Banbury 24/07/22 Withdrawn due to end of Warwickshire CC contract*
76/76A 76S/76X Stratford upon Avon to Banbury 24/07/22 Withdrawn due to end of Warwickshire CC contract*
77 Stratford upon Avon to Leamington Spa 24/07/22 Withdrawn due to end of Warwickshire CC contract*
77A Leamington Spa to Banbury 24/07/22 Withdrawn due to end of Warwickshire CC contract*
89 Solihull to Coventry 24/07/22 Withdrawn due to end of TfWM contract**
103 Portway to Henley High School 24/07/22 Withdrawn due to end of Warwickshire CC contract*
222 Stratford Park&Ride 24/07/22 Withdrawn due to end of Warwickshire CC contract*
229 Stratford to Snitterfield 24/07/22 Withdrawn due to end of Warwickshire CC contract*
229S Hockley Heath to Stratford Schools 24/07/22 Withdrawn due to end of Warwickshire CC contract*
239 Henley in Arden to Moreton Morrell 24/07/22 Withdrawn due to end of Warwickshire CC contract*
303 Kidderminster to Worcester 24/07/22 There will be a minor service revision from 24th July to include Bevere. This is to replace part of the former 37 route which has been cancelled by First Bus.
812 Redditch - Ridgeway School 24/07/22 Service ends due to end of school year. Will not recommence in Sept 22 as service is unsustainable
S83 Redditch - N. Bromsgrove High School 24/07/22 Service ends due to end of school year. Will not recommence in Sept 22 as service is unsustainable
S85 Crabbs Cross - Studley High School 24/07/22 Service ends due to end of school year. Will not recommence in Sept 22 as service is unsustainable

* For timetable information for these services no longer to be operated by Diamond Bus, please visit www.warwickshire.gov.uk
** For information on alternative routes, please contact TfWM

Services still under review:

Service Route Change Date Proposed Change

002

Weoley Castle - Merry Hill

28/08/22

Timetable change, frequency reduction to every 20 mins

2

Bewdley - Kidderminster 

28/08/22

Service to be reinstated following withdrawal of the 8

8

Bewdley - Kidderminster

28/08/22

Service unsustainable at current passenger levels and will be withdrawn

11

Redditch - Washford Mill

28/08/22

Service unsustainable at current passenger levels and will be withdrawn

12

Redditch - Astwood Bank

28/08/22

Service unsustainable at current passenger levels and will be withdrawn

15

Tamworth - Hurley

28/08/22

Service unsustainable at current passenger levels and will be withdrawn

X16/16S

Birmingham - Tamworth

28/08/22

Service unsustainable at current passenger levels and will be withdrawn

X20

Stratford - Coventry

14/08/22

Will operate current timetable in full until 14/8/22. From 14/8/22 service will operate between Coventry to Solihull only. We understand Warwick County Council intend to tender a replacement service for withdrawn Solihull to Stratford section.

35

Lichfield - Walsall

28/08/22

Service unsustainable at current passenger levels and will be withdrawn

52

Redditch to Kidderminster

28/08/22

Service unsustainable at current passenger levels and will be withdrawn

52A

Alexandra Hospital to Bromsgrove 

28/08/22

Service unsustainable at current passenger levels and will be withdrawn

62

Redditch Circular

28/08/22

Service unsustainable at current passenger levels and will be withdrawn

67

Redditch to Studley

28/08/22

Service unsustainable at current passenger levels and will be withdrawn

226

Merry Hill - Dudley

28/08/22

Timetable change, frequency reduction

247

Redditch - Evesham

28/08/22

Service unsustainable at current passenger levels and will be withdrawn

302

Bewdley - Worcester 6th Form College

24/07/22

Service unsustainable at current passenger levels and will be withdrawn

889

Kingstanding - Bishop Walsh School

24/07/22

Service unsustainable at current passenger levels and will be withdrawn

Our service review will continue over the coming weeks and months, the information detailed above may be subject to change, therefore we recommend that customers continue to check back for information regularly and follow us on Facebook or Twitter for latest updates.

Updated 28/06/22.

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