National Express plans to add a further 65 Platinum buses this year, extending the brand to serve every district of the Black Country. The operator expects the first of these new buses will be on the road in the summer. Platinum buses were first introduced in May 2015 and operate on eight routes across Birmingham, Solihull, Coventry and Walsall. A recent survey showed overall satisfaction across the Platinum routes was 94%. 98% were satisfied with the comfort they experienced on the bus, 96% said they were happy with the standard of driving and 81% of those questioned found the services good value for money. The £34m fleet of 58 ADL Enviro400 MMCs give passengers free Wi-Fi, extra leg room and high backed seats.
MD of National Express West Midlands, Peter Coates, said, ‘We’ve been running the Platinums for half a year now and we’re seeing more people making more trips on them. The X51 from Birmingham to Walsall has seen 25% growth and there’s been 10% growth on services to Birmingham International. So this year, we’re investing £15 million to make sure that people right across the Black Country will benefit from these excellent new buses. I’m particularly pleased that 27% of the people questioned in the customer satisfaction survey were new users of our buses. The Platinum services are good news for everyone who lives in the West Midlands because these new buses mean cleaner air in our city centres. A Euro6 bus is twenty times cleaner than the old pre-1993 Euro0 buses.’