West Midlands bus route 28

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Operator National Express West Midlands
Vehicle Scania OmniLink, Volvo B10B, Volvo B10L or Optare Solo when required
Start Heartlands Hospital, Bordesley Green
Via Ward End, Pype Hayes, Erdington, Short Heath, Kingstanding, Perry Beeches and Tower Hill
End Great Barr, Scott Arms
Length 11 miles
Operator National Express West Midlands
Vehicle Scania OmniLink, Volvo B10B, Volvo B10L or Optare Solo when required
Start Small Heath, Park GOLDEN HILLOCK ROAD
Via Heartlands Hospital, Bordesley Green, Ward End, Pype Hayes, Erdington, Short Heath and Kingstanding
End Old Oscott, Dyas Road
Length 12 miles
Operator National Express West Midlands
Vehicle Scania OmniLink, Volvo B10B, Volvo B10L or Optare Solo when required
Start Ward End, The Fox and Goose
Via Pype Hayes, Erdington, Short Heath and Kingstanding
End Old Oscott, Dyas Road
Length 7 miles
Operator National Express West Midlands
Vehicle Scania OmniLink, Volvo B10B, Volvo B10L or Optare Solo when required
  • was known as the 638, 628
Start Erdington Six Ways
Via Yenton, Pype Hayes, Tyburn, Kingsbury Road
End Castle Vale, High Street
Length 4 miles

The 28 route is a bus route in the West Midlands, United Kingdom. It runs from Small Heath to Great Barr or Perry Barr. Route 28 is the only National Express West Midlands route which crosses Birmingham, however it does not use the city centre.


Early history[edit]

According to a website[citation needed], route 28 dates back to 1930, however over the years has undergone vast changes. It used to operate from Birmingham City Centre to the present 28B terminus in Small Heath then via Ward End, Bordesley Green, Castle Bromwich and Erdington to Kingstanding. In 1948 the route was extended to Great Barr as service 28A. Seven years later the route was then simplified to just route 28; from here on this started the grounds of the present 28 route to-date.

During the previous operations route 28 and 28A ran a combined service. Operating route 28 every 10 minutes during peak times and dropping the 28 frequency to every 30 minutes during the daytime. With the combination of service 28A variant to provide a 15 minute frequency between Bordesley Green and Tower Hill Walsall Road in Perry Beeches. Where the to services split and headed in opposite directions; route 28 to Great Barr Scott Arms pub and route 28A to Perry Barr One Stop Shopping Centre. Saturday the route was run every 30 minutes with a combination of service 28A providing additional journeys, slotted in-between service 28. This meant that route 28 was operated every 15 minutes throughout the daytime between Dyas Road and Bordesley Green Heartlands Hospital. With the last departures from Great Barr Scott Arms, being 1909 and from One Stop Shopping Centre being at 1825. The Centro guide states that Sundays operations run a steady 30 minute frequency on service 28/28E. The difference with Sunday journeys, compared to all the Monday-Saturday daytimes 28 journeys, is the termination in Old Oscott at the junction of Aldridge Road.

Creation of route 24[edit]

This route was created on 29 January 2007 when the main 28 corridor was upgraded. The original 28 route was curtailed in Bordesley Green at the Heartlands Hospital entrance, the terminus for the 28A journeys. So all journeys started and finished at the Hospital. Route 24 was run between Ward End The Fox and Goose via Pelum, Bordesley Green, Heartlands Hospital and into Small Heath. The route serves the Birmingham City F.C. ground), near the St Andrews retail park, the home of Morrisons superstore. In April 2008 the route was further extended around the area to introduce new passenger growth for the route. The route has come on leaps and bounds and it not just an exact copy of the 28B extension during evenings and Sundays.

Creation of route 638[edit]

From January 1997 this service used to be operated as service 628. In August 1999 National Express West Midlands then Travel West Midlands took over the route from Bussways and re-numbered the service 638 (due to the fact it already operated a service with the number 628 in Dudley area). The required just 2 vehicles operated by Optare Solo Mondays - Saturdays, with first journey starting from Castle Vale at 08:00, with the last departure from the Erdington being at 17:20 terminating at Spitfire Island. In April 2005 Travel West Midlands started using MCW Metrobus and Wright Eclipse Gemini This change was made because the Optare Solo had become to small for the operations of the route. Many times as the 28 services would be held up in traffic in the Kingstanding and Ward End areas the 638 would end up carrying the majority of passengers along the Chester Road corridor, between Castle Vale and Erdington

Route Operations To date apart from the types of vehicles, the route service has remained vertical unchanged with one exception, that journeys do no enter New Street to serve a single bus stop on Erdington High Street before turning down Barnabas Road and serving the bus stop on Sutton New Road. This change was to save time on the route, what with the Double Decker vehicles on the service, the route had to be taken out of this section and routed directly along the Sutton New Road.

Recent history[edit]

  • March 2012 - All evening journeys and Sunday journeys, are extended to service the stops along Bordesley Green East as far as Stechford area boundary, to daytime layover point in Bordasley Green. Last stop is Upton Road before U-turning back up to the Heartland Hospital. Its worth noting that service has been extended without any additional time being given on journeys and often as a result services can run 10–12 minutes late.
  • March 2011 - Service simplified to 28 between Hartlands Hospital and Grate Barr Scott Arms. Additional journeys added; new 5am departures from Tower Hill Monday - Saturday. New termination and commencing destination points added, such as Pype Hayes, Perry Beaches and Tower Hill.
  • September 2010 - Service 28A was withdrawn and all journeys became 28E (short journeys finishing at Dyas Road/Aldridge Road)
  • April 2010 - Service 28A rerouted in the Old Oscott area to serve Grate Bar School on a loop.
  • September 2009 - Timetable was revised - additional journeys added during Monday - Friday late evening
  • February 2009 - Major changes to 28B Evening timetables from Old Oscott to Small Heath. The afternoon peak timetable was revised Monday - Friday, as well as the Saturday last afternoon.
  • Unknown date - National Express West Midlands withdraw route 24, Central Buses takes it over.
  • January 2007 - Re-launch of the 28, 28A, 28B & 28E service with Volvo B10Bs introduced onto the service. Also, new Service 24 links Small Heath and Ward End Fox & Goose Monday - Saturday day and peak times [1]
  • January 2002 - Timetable was revised.
  • October 1999 Timetable was revised.
  • June 1997 Route 28A was extended to Perry Barr (Centro 1997 Service guide)

NXWM Upgrade[edit]

Since 28 January 2007 the 28 route group expanded. The route was run using a series of MCW Metrobus adopted from the former 'Birmingham City Transport, by Perry Barr garage. However previously when necessary Wright Eclipse Gemini and Volvo B7TL were used on the service.

Route 28 operates at a frequency of every 7–8 minutes along the main section of the route (between Ward End and Old Oscott) Monday-Friday peak-times. During Monday-Friday daytime route 28 and 28A operate a combined 10 minute frequency between Heartlands Hospital in Bordesley Green and Tower Hill Walsall Road near Perry Beeches. From here the routes split: route 28 turns right and heads up the Walsall Road to Great Barr The Scott Arms pub. Route 28A terns left and runs down Walsall Road. On Saturdays route 28 and 28A are continuously operated every 20 minutes, combining with a 10 minute frequency between Heartlands Hospital in Bordesley Green and Tower Hill Walsall Road near Perry Beeches.

Service 638 is operated between Erdington and Castle Vale which operates as far as Tyburn House where it creates a circle around Castle Vale to the High Street (Reed Square) where it continues down to the Chester Road and then follows service 28 into Erdington.

It is worth noting that during busy times of service operations on route 28 between Castle Vale and Erdington service 638 can end up carrying most of the passengers and it is known by the drivers to request double deck vehicles for the service.


On route 28 and 28A National Express West Midlands uses mainly Volvo B10B, Volvo B10L with Scania OmniLink on the route. The route was originally upgraded with the Volvo B10B as the routes main allocation, previously the MCW Metrobus in 2007. Alternatively, to keep with the low-floored option, Optare Solos sometimes make an appearance on the route.

It is known by the garage that alternative single decker buses are to be acquired and put into operation. The main reason for this is due to the route which travels along 'Short Heath Road' being a busy route which is very narrow in places. The Optare Solo could become the routes main allocation.

The MCW Metrobus was the 28's main allocations from their delivery to the WMPTE for the former 'Birmingham City Transport' company in the 1980-1981.

Route Development[edit]

Perry Barr garage are[when?] reviewing the route to enhance and develop the 28 route further. It is also known that a section of route during Monday - Saturday evenings and all day on Sundays is likely to get a service after almost two decades of no service. However, it is likely that the route will only run as far as a roundabout in the Tower Hill part of Perry Beeches. This is because of a schedule change in February 2009, leaving a 20 minute layover at the Dyas Road/Aldridge Road terminus in Old Oscott.

The present route review is looking at the following as enhancements to the route.

  • Service 952 to provide the missing link from Walsall Road to Old Oscoott, Dyas Road with journeys now serving Thornbridge Avenue, Hassop Road in both direction.
  • Service retimed during evenings and Sundays to allow on-time running as a result of extending services to Upton Road in Bordesley Green and keeping services on-time.
  • Provide a route which runs the full length of the route during Monday - Saturday evenings and Sundays.
  • The 28A to be interlinked with route 46 in Perry Barr during Monday - Saturday evenings and Sundays
  • A route to Perry Barr on Sundays.
  • Extend route 28B as far as a roundabout Tower Hill in Perry Beeches during Monday - Saturday evenings and all day on Sundays.
  • Simplify the route to just operate between Bordesley Green and Perry Barr One Stop Shopping Centre all times.
  • Addition early morning departures from Pype Hayes, Ward End and Old Oscott.
  • As and when required by National Express West Midlands, produce a constantly operated frequency of every 6–10 minutes.
  • An enhanced Monday - Saturday evening frequency of every 20 minutes.
  • 28A to operate later than 15:37 Monday - Friday and 18:10 on Saturdays.
  • An enhanced Sunday daytime frequency of every 20 minutes.

See also[edit]

List of bus routes in the West Midlands county


http://www.travelwm.co.uk/news/news-article.jsp?newsID=466 http://twmmetro-pics.fotopic.org.uk/c1195161.html http://my.bus.photos.fotopic.net/c1191079.html

External links[edit]