Call for all to act to save our bus routes - The Evesham Observer

Call for all to act to save our bus routes

Evesham Editorial 20th Dec, 2018   0

A LONG-TERM approach to tackling public transport problems which have seen bus services slashed across Evesham and Pershore has been given the green light by cabinet chiefs at Worcestershire County Council.

Highways chief Coun Alan Amos made the call after a major county-wide investigation into the issues faced by commuters who use public transport which revealed the problems faced by local residents on a daily basis.

Speaking at a meeting of the cabinet last Thursday, scrutiny chairman Coun Chris Bloore said the number of people using buses was higher than at any time since 1991 but the network as a whole had been reduced by 25 per cent.

The Labour councillor said his committee identified a number of areas which could be improved across the county and highlighted the need for a cross-party solution to ensure bus services and public transport had a stable future.




“We should have the bold aim going forward that we want to increase the number of people using buses in the county rather than this managed decline that we appear to be seeing over the last decade,” he said.

“This is a turning point for us, those involved in all parties were quite clear and spoke with one voice about planning for the next 20 years and for the need for a sustainable and robust public transport network and bus services are a huge part of that.


“It’s not that people don’t want to use them, it’s just the powers that be. The bus companies or local councils have reduced the network.”

Among the proposals tabled by Coun Bloore was to encourage bus chiefs from providers such as First and Diamond Buses to increase the number of passengers using the service they provide with cheaper tickets.

The calls were met with broad agreement from the Conservative cabinet and Coun Amos said any long-term review of public transport should put the service on a ‘stable and firm footing’.

“We cannot go on every year with bus companies telling us they are cutting services because we cannot jump in and fill the gap,” he said.

“Our residents want the certainty and clarification of a regular service. We need to know how we can get more people to use the buses.

“In my view local people are attracted to bus services that are punctual and reliable. In other words if they know the bus will turn up they will use it, if they don’t they won’t. It’s not rocket science.

“Let’s be positive, let’s work with the bus companies,” he added.

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