ELDERLY people on a Dudley street have been left 'cut off' by changes to their local bus service, says a local councillor.

Residents living in Greenwood Cottages on the Greens have been left with two bus stops on Maple Green that are no longer in use after operator National Express made a raft of changes to bus services and timetables that came into force at the end of January.

Pensioners, some aged in their nineties, must now walk to Wrens Nest Road to catch a bus to Dudley, when previously the number 8 bus stopped on Maple Green which runs outside their bungalows.

Upper Gornal and Woodsetton councillors Kieran Casey and Adam Aston are now calling for National Express to rethink the route so elderly residents can once again travel to Dudley from their street.

Cllr Kieran Casey said: "The changes that National Express made has meant that there is no longer a bus that runs across Maple Green just past Greenwood Cottages. At the moment they are cut off.

"National Express say more buses are running along Parkes Hall Road and Wrens Nest Road, but some of the residents in those cottages are nearly 100, they can’t walk that distance.

"One resident said he struggles to walk from his front door to the bus stop at the end of his front garden. How can we expect them to walk any further?"

The councillors are determined to see some form of bus service return to the road, even if it just a couple of services a day.

Cllr Casey added: "We want to get some form of service back down that road. We have been in touch with National Express and asked if we could have just one or two buses day on the route so residents can plan around it and get out to Dudley to do their shopping."

He added that if National Express won't act, he will consult with Transport for West Midlands to investigate getting another operator to run a service on the route.

The councillors had success four years ago when they brought back the 81 bus service for residents on Vicarage Road West in Woodsetton.

Bus route changes came into force on January 26, mainly in Dudley, Gornal, Kingswinford and Stourbridge.

Chiefs at National Express say the changes have created more frequent links and more buses.

Hoever some bus passengers have been left frustrated with the service and have been in touch with the News about their experiences, with the Greens and Wrens Nest estate, being particularly hit.

Sarah Lenton said: "Need the number 8 back on the Greens and Wrens Nest. The old ones can't get around as it is, now they have had their independence taken away from them."

Angela Daly commented: "Routes are too long and complicated and even the drivers are not sure where to go, nightmare."

Alison Dawn Byatt added: "The 82, 27 and 81 services through Wrens Nest are ridiculous. On several occasions I have waited over 30 minutes only for all three to turn up one after the other. It’s also terrible they there is no service for the elderly on the Greens, Dudley or the new estate off Wrens Hill Road. Twenty years ago we had a fantastic network of buses, now it’s dreadful."

Bus chiefs say the bus stop on Maple Green was used by a 'relatively low' number of passengers and that three other services now provide buses every 15 minutes from Wrens Nest to Dudley.

A National Express West Midlands spokesperson said: “National Express West Midlands held an online and paper public consultation on proposed changes to bus routes across West Dudley, Wolverhampton and Staffordshire. The feedback we received from customers, staff and stakeholders was used to help shape changes to some of our routes from 26th January 2020.

“Changes included the introduction of new direct bus links connecting key areas on our network, and more buses are now serving communities in Dudley, Wrens Nest, Wolverhampton and Kingswinford as a result.

“In the Wren’s Nest area the 8 route was replaced by the 27, the 27A and the 81. Between Wren’s Nest and Dudley these services combined provide a bus up to every 15 minutes.

“Our data showed that a relatively low number of customers boarded from the affected bus stop on Maple Green, however three new bus stops have been installed to reduce the walking distance for those customers affected by the changes to the 8.

“As with any changes to our network we appreciate that they will have an effect, however we believe that overall, the changes benefit the area with more frequent links and more buses.”