West Midlands bus route 50

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50
National Express West Midlands 4745 BV57 XJK.JPG
Overview
Operator National Express West Midlands
Diamond Bus
The Green Bus
Predecessors Your Bus,
People's Express
Sunrise Travel
Route
Start Druids Heath
Via Maypole, Kings Heath, Moseley, Balsall Heath
End Birmingham
Length 6.8 miles
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50A
National Express West Midlands 4745 BV57 XJK.JPG
Overview
Operator The Green Bus
Predecessors National Express West Midlands
Route
Start Wythall
Via Maypole, Kings Heath, Moseley, Balsall Heath
End Birmingham
Length 7 miles
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http://www.worcestershirebus.info/
X50
Overview
Operator Johnsons Coaches
Predecessors The Green Bus
Route
Start Redditch
Via Church Hill, Maypole, Kings Heath, Moseley, Balsall Heath
End Birmingham
Length 12 miles
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No Sunday Service [1] [2]
150
Overview
Operator Johnsons Coaches
Route
Start Redditch
Via Alexandra Hospital, Church Hill, Maypole, Kings Heath, Moseley, Balsall Heath
End Birmingham
Length 12 miles
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No Sunday Service

West Midlands bus route 50 is a bus route in the West Midlands, United Kingdom. Service 50 links Birmingham with Druids Heath via the Alcester Road and is among the busiest bus routes in Europe. It was introduced in 1949 and is currently served by National Express West Midlands, Diamond Bus and The Green Bus.

History[edit]

Service 50 was introduced by Birmingham City Transport between the City Centre and Maypole in October 1949 to replace a withdrawn tram route.[3] It was supplemented by service 49 which ran as far as Moseley or Kings Heath (via Leopold Street rather than Bradford Street) and service 48 which ran Gooch Street, Clevedon Road and Salisbury Road to Moseley then Alcester Road to the Maypole. The latter was extended to the new Druids Heath estate in July 1966.

Service 49 ceased in May 1975 when West Midlands PTE linked it to service 35, the new service adopting the latter number whilst being also further extended to Pool Farm (the 35 previously ran Kings Heath to Brandwood only). In the 1980s the 48 was also withdrawn with the 35 instead covering the Gooch St / Salisbury Rd section and the 50 extended to cover Druids Heath.

Following degregulation Your Bus additionally operated on the route under the heading 50Y before they were taken over by the successor to WMPTE operations, West Midlands Travel (now known as National Express West Midlands), in 1993[4] who continued to run 50Y services until their Travel Your Bus subsidiary until as late as 2001.

In 1999 route 50 became the first Travel West Midlands route to be operated using low-floor double-deck buses. The Optare Spectra buses bought specifically for the route were replaced by Volvo B7TL/Alexander ALX400 buses in February 2001. It celebrated its 50th anniversary later in the same year.[3]

In January 2006, the route was criticised by local councillor Paul Tilsley for being overly popular with drug users.[5]

People's Express operated a rival service before being taken over by Diamond Bus. Sunrise Travel started operating on the 50 running every 30+ minutes in October 2006, but withdrew the service a couple of months later.

National Express West Midlands Service 50 became a 24-hour service from 20th July 2014. This is the first time night journeys will operate along this route, since Diamond Bus withdrew the service in April 2008, which had been only been introduced as a commercially operated night service 50N in September 2007.[6]

National Express West Midlands introduced new Alexander Dennis Enviro400s to the 50 in February 2008, replacing the Dennis Trident 2/Alexander ALX400s previously used on the route.

Present NXWM[edit]

Service 50 currently serves Birmingham, Balsall Heath, Moseley, Kings Heath, Maypole before ending at Druids Heath. The National Express West Midlands service is usually operated by Alexander Dennis Enviro 400s, many of which are branded specifically for the 50, although Dennis Trident 2/Alexander ALX400s also appear occasionally. Service 50 runs every 4 or 5 minutes Monday to Saturday daytimes (every 10 minutes Sunday) and every 12 minutes evenings.

Route 50 is claimed by National Express to be one of the busiest routes in Europe.[7]

24-hour Service[edit]

From 20 July 2014 the route was extended through the night with extra buses from Moor Street at 1.03am then hourly until 4.03am.[8]

Present Diamond[edit]

Service 50 is also operated by Diamond Bus, who run from Birmingham to Druids Heath. Currently the operations are run every 15 minutes every day of the week, with no evening services. The last departure from Birmingham More Street is: 19:23 Monday-Friday, 19:08 Saturdays and Sundays 18:24.

Present TGB[edit]

The Green Bus Service 50 currently just run Monday-Saturday from Birmingham to Maypole and operate up to every 10 minutes, with no evening service. The last departure from Birmingham is 19:23 and the last departure from Maypole is 19:55.

Present Johnsons Coaches[edit]

Service 150 and X50 are also operated by along this corridor by Johnsons Coaches Birmingham, Balsall Heath, Moseley, Kings Heath, Maypole, Redditch. Previously the X50 was let as a subsidised contract from (Worcestershire Council) who tendered The Green Bus to run the section from Maypole to Redditch, while they operated the section from Maypole to Birmingham commercially.

This service operates up to every 60 minutes Mondays-Saturday's. No Sunday service is operated on routes X50 or 150 as Worcestershire Council doesn't want to tender a Sunday service.[9]

References[edit]

External links[edit]