Inconsistency Number 1. An extract from the excellent Network West Midlands (formally Centro, formally West Midlands PTE) route map will help.
Mitchells and Butlers merged with Bass and then became part of the Coors empire. The Cape Hill brewery was closed in 2002 when brewing was transferred to Burton upon Trent; the site has been progressively developed for housing since. All that remains now is the building behind the clock tower and M & B's war memorial (seen below in the trees).
inconsistency No 2 - only 9 years out of date!
But what of poor service 81? The timetable doesn't mention the brewery. Has some clerk at Network West Midlands corrected the missing brewery error? No!
Inconsistency No 3. 81 buses rejoin the group (briefly) at the Cape Hill Windmill Lane junction (but with one "l" if you are an 81!), one of the busiest shopping areas of Smethwick.
Inconsistency No 4.
The 82, a very long-standing Birmingham route, turns south and terminates at Bearwood.
The oddity 81 mirrors the 445 from Soho, wiggling through Warley and terminating at Brandhall, so why isn't the 81 numbered something like the 445? Probably a decision lost in the murky mists of history. Inconsistency No 5.
So, in the West Midlands as elsewhere, what can we conclude? Do the compilers of timetables ever think how their passengers may react to the information given? Does anyone at HQ know that the M&B brewery closed 9 years ago? Would more people use public transport if it were easier to understand?
The prize for correct answers is a bottle of Birmingham sterilised milk, complete with crown cap; a disappearing delectation peculiar to that city. Yummy yummy?
Next blog : due Tuesday May 17th