Public transport is just the ticket for Christmas…
With a Christmas crackdown on drink driving already underway by West Midlands Police, those planning to have a tipple can breathe easy in the knowledge that an extensive bus and Metro timetable has been put in place for the holidays.
Boxing Day in particular, when no trains are running, will have the most comprehensive bus timetable for decades. It will see frequent services throughout the day, arriving in city centres as early as 6:30am so shop staff can get to work and shoppers can bag an early bargain in the sales.
Cllr John McNicholas, chairman of transport authority Centro, said: “This time of year sees large numbers of people out shopping, visiting friends and family or going to office parties to enjoy a festive drink so the public transport on offer this Christmas will provide an ideal alternative to driving.
“Centro has spent some time in recent weeks talking with the region’s various bus operators about putting in place the most extensive Boxing Day timetable for many years. I’m delighted this will be the case on what is, after all, one of the busiest shopping and sporting days of the year.”
A Saturday bus service, with extra early morning services on key routes, will operate on Monday December 23, Christmas Eve, Friday December 27, Monday December 30 and New Year’s Eve.
A full Sunday service will be in place on New Year’s Day throughout Birmingham, Solihull and the Black Country. Buses in Coventry will run on key routes only, finishing at 7pm.
Meanwhile the Midland Metro will operate a normal service over the festive period on all days except Boxing Day when there will be a 15 minute service between 8.30am and 6pm and New Year’s Day when a Sunday service will be in place. There will be no bus or Metro services on Christmas Day.
A reduced rail timetable will be in place on Christmas Eve with services taking the customary break on Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
Centro started paying for Boxing Day bus services on key routes ten years ago. Before that there had been no services for more than two decades.
The move has proved extremely popular and passenger numbers are now so high that National Express West Midlands, the region’s biggest bus company, has been operating many of the routes on a commercial basis in recent years without the need for a subsidy from the public purse.
Full details of public transport services over the entire festive period including Boxing Day bus services are available at www.networkwestmidlands.com
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