Birmingham transport bosses react to bus fare increase across the West Midlands

National Express West Midlands has announced that bus fares are rising in Birmingham and across the region

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Transport bosses in the West Midlands have spoken out about National Express West Midlands’ decision to increase bus fares in Birmingham and across the region.

All day tickets and weekly passes are being hit by above inflation price rises from July 3. The fare for a National Express West Midlands all day ticket is going up 50p from £4 to £4.50 from Monday 3rd July 2023. - a 12.% increase, which is above inflation which is 7.8%. A weekly pass will be £17, a £2 increase from £15 currently - a rise of 13.3%.

There has been recent calls to bring buses under the control of local councils across the West Midlands - out of the hands of private companies, which previously happend in Manchester.

National Express is also reviewing whether it will continue to participate in the government’s £2 price cap scheme. The bus operator said: “The West Midlands will continue to have the cheapest bus tickets of any city region in England, and an all day ticket below the price in 2017.” It further advised that paying bus fares by Direct Debit remains the most cost effective way to travel - with a monthly price of £55.

The bus operator stressed that this is the first price rise since 2017 for the majority of fares, saying that the day ticket will remain cheaper than in 2017. It said that the price rises are needed to protect the bus network - the services that customers use every day - in the face of rising costs.

It pointed out that costs including fuel, electricity, parts and labour have increased to 125 percent while the number of people using buses remains around 90 percent of what it was before the pandemic.

Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) ‘disappointed’ to see bus fares rise - full statement

Following the news, a statement from TfWM, said: “We have been notified of National Express’ intention to increase their fares. Whilst we recognise bus operators are being significantly impacted by rising costs compounding the Covid-19 pandemic related challenges, it is of course disappointing to see fares rise.

“Transport for West Midlands has and continues to work tirelessly with operators and government to secure financial support and investment in the network. It is important to note that fares in the West Midlands remain among the cheapest in the country.

“We are also actively working with all operators on further initiatives that will help maintain services at present levels, simplify ticketing and keep costs for passengers low moving forward. Buses remain great value and an efficient bus network is a critical part of our plans for a greener and better connected West Midlands.”

What are the full details of the bus fare rise in the West Midlands, is there more information?

In addition to increasing bus fares, National Express West Midlands also pointed out that it is reviewing whether it will participate in the Government’s forthcoming £2 bus fare cap scheme. Here are the full detail of product options and prices from July 3:

  • All day ticket £4.50, up from £4.00 - and now works on all buses whatever operator
  • Weekly pass £17, up from £15 - and now works on all buses whatever operator
  • Direct Debit - best value of all - £55 a month - and now works on all buses whatever operator

A National Express West Midlands spokesperson added: “We’re pleased that in the face of a difficult inflation environment, we’re able to protect the bus network and still have the cheapest all day ticket price of any city region in England at £4.50. Our day ticket remains cheaper than in 2017.

“We’re on our customers’ side and we will continue to work hard to ensure a reliable bus service and to help them take advantage of great value travel.” For further details and the latest information about the 3rd July changes, please visit”