Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Bus Routes of Birmingham: Number One: The No. 1

The Number 1 at Acock's Green
I've always been intrigued by Birmingham's number 1 bus. You'd expect a service with the number 1 to be an important trunk route, perhaps to a nearby town or at least a main line service to a major suburb. But not in Birmingham. Brum's number 1 leaves the city via Five Ways heading south-west. Once out of the central area however it turns south-east, crosses the Worcester & Birmingham Canal and proceeds to link a succession of leafy suburbs, all of which have much more direct services to the city, until coming to a halt at Acock's Green;  a point chosen no doubt because it's almost on the city boundary. The route does serve the county cricket ground at Edgbaston, but even this has a more direct service via the Pershore Road.The bus timetable describes the terminus as "Acock's Green Village". It looked more like a small town to me: in fact in my old home county of Herefordshire it would be a large town!  
I've wanted to ride the number 1 for some time, so today, after moving the boat to St. Vincent Street's 14-day moorings (the pub at Cambrian Wharf having proved too noisy after all), I walked up to Broad Street and caught one. (A "one" that is)
The bus, especially a double-decker, really is the best way to see a city. You can look around you, don't have to worry about the traffic or which road to take and if you see something that interests you you just get off and pick up another bus later on without having all the bother of finding somewhere to park - or even to stop. Most of Birmingham's buses run every 10 minutes (some much more often) and many of them are double-deckers too.
Tomorrow: The Outer Circle!


Halfie said...

Ah - St. Vincent Street moorings. Don't know where they are - I'll look for them tomorrow. We're tied up on the main line by Sheepcote Street Bridge.

I thought of you when I took some photos of the bus depot just by the bridge over the Stratford Canal I've been at for the last few days - Yardley Wood Bus Station.

Anonymous said...

Spotted you tonight on way back from pub - too laye to call. I'm 't other side of bridge on opposite bank. See you tomorrow?

No Direction said...

I grew up in a house which was on the outer circle route in Erdington, I used the number 11 bus for school, our house was where the 11 route crossed the 64 route, the vibration from the buses used to rattle the glass in the front door.