A new shuttle bus service was launched on Monday 15th October following student outcry at the level of crime in Selly Oak
It is hoped that this new service, provided for free by the Guild, will help to allay the fears of students concerned about their safety in the area.
After a series of posts on the student Facebook group ‘Fab N Fresh’ detailing a wide array of criminal activity, students at the University of Birmingham have begun to fear for their safety in Selly Oak, especially when walking alone at night.
On Sunday 7th October, a 22-year-old man was stabbed in the area. A 15-year-old boy has since been charged with attempted murder.
The University has faced backlash for its response to the incident, particularly regarding one statement posted online which controversially stated that ‘generally Selly Oak is a safe area’.
However, the Guild of Students launched a petition titled ‘Make Selly Oak Safer’ and hosted a student forum on Wednesday 10th October in an effort to listen to student feedback and work on improving safety in Selly Oak. One of these new safety measures is the shuttle bus, named the Selly Express.
The Selly Express runs every forty-five minutes between 20:00 and 01:00 on weekdays, leaving from the Main Library and the Guild and arriving in Selly Oak. Due to this being a free service, tickets are not required and students only need to bring their university ID. The original plan was to run the bus every half-hour, but high demand over the first few days of the service meant that the Guild had to rethink the timings.
This new bus scheme also fulfills one of Guild President Reece Patrick Roberts’ manifesto promises, and he is encouraging students to use this bus to prove to the University that it is a necessary feature. The bus is only a temporary measure and, therefore, Roberts encouraged students to ‘please use this service’ at the Guild Officer Question Time so that the University considers making the service permanent.