360 service restructured
Coventry’s high profile 360 City Circle service is to be restructured as a result of insufficient passenger numbers. Operated by Travel De Courcey, it loops around the city and links some of its showpiece locations on one route, including University Hospital, Jaguar Land Rover and the University of Warwick. Following a patronage review by Centro (West Midlands transport authority) it is to be changed from 23 July in a move which breaks up the route. In October 2013 a total of 13,714 passengers were carried, while in the same period in 2015 it was 13,949, an increase of just 235.
Under the new structure there will be three separate services: 60 (University of Warwick to Arena Retail Park via Coventry and Warwickshire University Hospital, operating every 30 minutes, hourly in evenings and Sundays); 61 (Allesley Park to Arena Retail Park, operating hourly Monday to Saturday, daytime only); and 43 (University of Warwick to Eastern Green, operating hourly Monday to Saturday, daytime only). When introduced, the 31.5 mile service 360 was the longest continuous urban bus route in Europe, taking the title from the long established 26 mile Number 11 Outer Circle service running around Birmingham.
Network Development and Delivery Manager for Centro, Steve Hayes, said, ‘Since its launch the City Circle service has not succeeded overall in growing patronage. The western segment of the route in particular has failed to attract new passengers. We are obliged to get best value when using public money to subsidise services, and unfortunately the patronage figures for the 360 mean it is no longer justifiable. Inevitably there may be some passengers who will be inconvenienced as a result of the changes to the No.360 for which we apologise.’