New Signature deal signed

Following a recent review, the Signature network that runs throughout the Meriden Gap between Birmingham and Coventry has been expanded. Bosses from West Midlands transport authority (Centro) and the operator of the routes, Diamond Buses, signed a new deal to extend the services. The new routes on the network are 82, 88, S2, S3, S4, S11 and S15. Improvements include better frequencies, quicker journey times, more trips and new links from Balsall Common, Knowle and Dorridge to Solihull Station. Mercedes-Benz Citaros, Optare Solos and Versa hybrids are being used on the routes, featuring leather seats, CCTV and free Wi-Fi. The network was launched in 2010.

Despite the introduction of new Signature services, the review resulted in the withdrawal of the Signature routes S2A and C through Temple Balsall, as well as the link between Cheswick Green and Shirley, due to low passenger numbers. However an alternative is on hand through the Heart of England Taxibus. This operates between 08.00 and 19.30 Monday to Saturday and bookings can be taken up to one week in advance, including on the day of travel if seats are available. It operates within the Meriden Gap and travels to areas such as Coventry city centre, Solihull town centre, Chelmsley Wood, Birmingham Airport and Birmingham International railway station, plus local railway stations and shopping centres.

Business Development Director for Diamond, Antony Goozee, said, ‘We feel that the services have the ability to grow and have put further resources into working with both Centro and the local community to ensure we provide a high level of service to our passengers. With this latest batch of vehicles we have adopted a green theme with a mixture of hybrid, electric/diesel buses and Euro5 diesel buses being used on the network. We look forward to building on the foundations of the previous contract and improving on what already has proven to be a successful solution for running bus services in the Solihull area.’

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