AROUND THE NUMBER 8

Having already tried out Birmingham’s iconic 11 Outer Circle, TIM CARTER returned last year to ride both directions on the city’s number 8 Inner Circle, the preserve of Scania single-deckers

Scania OmniLink 1800 (BV57 XFO) operating an 8A anticlockwise journey through Saltley. Tim Carter caught this bus on his second day’s visit to sample the Inner Circle. PAUL GODDING
Map of the Inner Circle route, showing where 8A and 8C buses connect with suburban trains and Midland Metro trams. FWT

Birmingham City Transport established today’s Inner Circle — the 8A/C (A for anticlockwise, C for clockwise) — in the 1920s, running around 2miles from the city centre. Its successor, National Express West Midlands, operates it today on a course it describes as ‘the city’s middle ring road with some small deviations on parts of the route’. Clockwise, it links Saltley, Small Heath, Five Ways, Jewellery Quarter, Hockley and Aston Cross, taking between 50 and 80min per circuit.

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