Meeting with National Express West Midlands, Stafford Road

National Express West Midlands has agreed to consult with residents of Stafford Road, Darlaston following a meeting with Mr Peter Coates, Managing Director of National Express West Midlands on Friday 16 October 2015 which I arranged.

My constituents who live on Stafford Road are prevented from sleeping by buses which run as early as 4am and as late as midnight. One constituent told me her children are having to share a back bedroom as the front bedroom is unusable because of the noise from buses. Other constituents said they had been asked to move their cars which were legally parked outside their own homes so that buses could get through, while others said their cars had been damaged – possibly by buses. My constituents should not have to put up with this situation.

I arranged this meeting so my constituents could tell Mr Coates about the problems caused by the introduction of the 79 bus service to Stafford Road earlier this year. Stafford Road is a quiet residential street which is part of a 20mph zone with large speed humps and on-street parking. It is not a road anyone would expect to be used by up to 10 buses an hour, including double-deckers.

My constituents made clear to Mr Coates how unsuitable Stafford Road is to be used by so many bus services. I was pleased that Mr Coates said that National Express West Midlands will carry out a full consultation with residents. Their views must now be taken into account and the 79 returned to its original route.

This is the second meeting I have held for my constituents on Stafford Road this year. When my constituents contacted me to say that the 79 had started running without any notice or consultation, I immediately wrote to National Express West Midlands and Centro and arranged a meeting with residents. That meeting took place in June and Centro and National Express West Midlands agreed to write to me with options which could be put to residents. However, I never received a satisfactory response and so requested the further meeting with Mr Coates.

I was surprised when my constituents contacted me to say that the 79 had started running without any notice or consultation with residents. After a meeting in 2013, Centro agreed to divert the former 327 service away from Stafford Road because of the number of buses already using the street.

I am pleased that my constituents are now being consulted and I am sure they will make their views known.