A council meeting was held today for a sustainability and transport overview at the Birmingham City Council House.
One of the main issues highlighted, was that users of public transport felt ‘put off’ by taking the bus due to fears of safety.
Conservative Councillor, and former bus driver Eddie Freeman said:
“Attracting more passengers is addressing the safety issues.”
Issues of safety include inadequate lighting at bus shelters, violence and common assaults.
Inspector Rachel Crump from the West Midlands Police Safety Travel team said:
“Violence, criminal damage and common assaults, are the biggest crimes we face with public transport in the West Midlands.”
In response to these issues, the safety team have introduced an offender management scheme, which works with families and young people to discourage them from crime.
As well as this, a restorative justice scheme has been introduced, where offenders clean the buses.
“The reception from the public on the restorative justice scheme has been great. Since these schemes were implemented, only one person has reoffended on public transport, which I think speaks volumes.”
Head of customer experience at National Express West Midlands, Adam Rideout, said that it is crucial to find out what people think about the perceptions of safety, so that they can begin to encourage people to try out public transport and use it more often.