Canceled bus service ‘was used by real Peaky Blinders’

A historic bus service that will no longer run to Birmingham would have taken the real Peaky Blinders to Worcester.

First Worcester confirmed this week that the 144 service from Worcester, which calls at Droitwich and Bromsgrove, will terminate at Catshill instead of Birmingham from Sunday May 1.

Worcester Councilor Richard Udall said the bus route was not only one of the oldest in the country, but was once used by the real-life counterparts of Brummie TV’s favorite gangsters.

“Departmental advisers were officially informed on Thursday, but I had already heard about it from passengers,” he said.

“This is one of the oldest bus routes in the country and was used to transport the real Peaky Blinders to Worcester races. This is a historic bus route, it’s just crazy beyond words to remove it.

“Worcester and Birmingham have always been linked by public transport, cutting the link is shortsighted, unprofessional and very damaging.”

Bus riders have expressed shock at the scrapping of the Birmingham service and a petition has been launched on Change.org calling on First Worcester to reverse its decision.

First Worcester says very few people use the 144 between Catshill and Birmingham

“As I am 72 years old and buses are my only means of transport, please keep 144,” said one person who had signed the petition.

Another said: “It’s a service I’ve used for years and will be missed. My mother depends on it and she is 79 years old. It is an essential service at a time when we are encouraged to use the car less.

“We fail badly”

First Worcester chief executive Nigel Eggleton said the service had carried ‘very few people’ between Catshill and Birmingham in the past 12 months.

But Cllr Udall said more investment was needed, not less.

“It’s not just used by people going to work, it’s also used for leisure and entertainment,” he said.

“So many bus services have been cut over the years, but this cut will be deep, it will hurt, we have to find the resources to make it work. Public transport needs subsidies, it should not be left to the free market.

“We need reliable, affordable and regular bus services that can meet the needs of commuters, we are failing badly.”

Melvin Z. Madore