Call for more help to cut fares - The Evesham Observer

Call for more help to cut fares

Evesham Editorial 15th Nov, 2019   0

HALF PRICE fares for all 16 to 18-year-olds on buses, trains and coaches are being called for by a local public transport group.

The Vale Public Transport Group – the only group of its kind in the county – has also urged increased government funding for ailing rural bus routes and for senior citizens’ bus passes.

The group – comprising representatives from local town and parish councils in the Vale – contacted both Conservative candidates Harriett Baldwin and Nigel Huddleston shortly before the election was announced and is now calling for cross-party support for their pleas.

Group chiefs believe much more could be done to integrate train and bus services especially in the light of the forthcoming upgrade of the Cotswold Line rail service to an hourly route.

According to the group, existing bus services such as those from Evesham to Redditch and Evesham to Stratford-upon-Avon could be better promoted and improved to provide valuable bus/rail access between the Cotswolds and the West Midlands.

The current Evesham to Broadway bus link which receives no subsidy from the County Council should be upgraded to hourly both for local and longer distance commuters into services from Evesham’s rail station as well as for tourists and leisure travellers.

The group also wants to see Pershore’s popular Plumline bus service provide improved links to the town’s station as well as being extended to serve the fast-growing village of Drakes Broughton which has lost almost all its buses serving the village centre in recent cutbacks.

“These proposals represent a package of measures which we are discussing with county and district Councils and rail/bus watchdogs Transport Focus  to improve and encourage people back on to our local bus services,” said group chairman Julian Palfrey.

“Rural isolation affects the young as well as older people in view of the almost total lack of evening and weekend buses.

“It is vital any future government introduces a nationwide system of half price fares for 16 to 18-year-olds to replace a patchwork quilt of local schemes – or indeed no such offering at all.

“It is after all half a century since the last national extension of young people’s fares to 16-year-olds  at a time when most are staying on at school, going on to further education or into lower paid jobs at the start of their working careers,” he added.


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