Video: what it’s really like to travel on West Midlands buses and trains in a pandemic

BirminghamWorld spoke to public transport users in the city centre to find out how they were dealing with the disruption and to see if they had any advice for fellow travellers

Transport disruptions in the West Midlands have lead to many commuters having to change their plans.

West Midlands Railway has revealed more than a hundred members of its staff are currently off sick with changes to services made on the Birmingham to Shrewsbury line and buses replacing trains between Nuneaton and Leamington Spa.

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Bus drivers have also being struck by the bug, with National Express West Midlands saying they had “increasing numbers of employees absent recently due to Omicron”.

The bus provider did not give any information about services being disrupted.

BirminghamWorld spoke to public transport users in the city centre to find out how they were dealing with the disruption casued by the spread of Omicron and to see if they had any advice for fellow travellers.

Mohammad comments on traffic disruption, Birmingham

‘I don’t fear Covid when I’m using public transport’

Mohammad says: “I don’t fear it to be honest with you, but there are some people who when you cough on the buses, they’re like, lean back and think you know what - he’s got COVID. And we’ve made it into a big issue now.

“I’ve been using public transport since COVID hit. It delays a lot of travel. COVID has made an impact, very big impact on people’s lives and we need to make it smaller.”

Paul comments on traffic disruption, Birmingham

‘You can get up to seven buses turn up at once’

Paul says: “They’ve made a lot of changes to transport in the city centre. I think all it’s done is shoved all the traffic out into the outer circle, which is then creating its own problems. On the Tyburn road and all the outer outer circles now are gridlocked most of the day. You’re getting several buses turn up at once.”

Bella comments on traffic disruption, Birmingham

‘The trains used to be a lot more regular’

Bella says: “Personally I don’t feel that worried about Omicron. I am boosted. So I feel like I’m covered there. I do wear my mask in places. I feel fine about all of that. For me, I have noticed a massive difference in the train services. There used to be a lot more regular - I find there’s a lot more cancellations than they used to be. And generally they do run a lot less regularly than they used to pre COVID.”

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