Call to use cash to revive buses - The Evesham Observer

Call to use cash to revive buses

Evesham Editorial 28th Feb, 2020   0

VALE campaigners have called on county highways chiefs to use their £700,000 windfall for public transport to reverse the drastic cuts in services in a ‘new era’ for bus funding.

Members of the Vale Public Transport Group (VPTG) spoke out after highways boss Coun Alan Amos revealed a spending increase of more than 10 per cent on public transport in the county with the £200,000 cash injection added from savings made elsewhere in the county’s overall £30million transport budget.

The increase comes days after a £500,000 cash boost for the council from the Government in a bid to get more people on the buses.

Campaigners called for Vale bus users to see the benefits of the major cash injection on rural bus routes and in off-peak, evening and weekend services.

Members of the group – the only one of its kind in the county – welcomed the funding boost but believe the cash should be used to restore services in the south of the county which they said had suffered some of the most devastating cuts in the country.

Urgent issues needing to be tackled according to the group include the lack of any off-peak daytime services from the village of Fladbury, the withdrawal of remaining Saturday services from Eckington and massive cutbacks in services in areas of major housing growth such as northern Pershore and Drakes Broughton.

“We hope this marks the start of a new era for bus service funding as part of a green bid to encourage more people back onto the buses, to reduce local congestion and pollution and to tackle social isolation which has been recognised as a serious health and well-being issue,” said VPTG chairman Julian Palfrey.

The Vale group is due to meet Worcestershire County Council chiefs and officers to discuss best value use of the new money in the south of the county and has been offered a joint meeting with MPs Harriett Baldwin and Nigel Huddleston to discuss outcomes.

The group is also calling for improved services coupled with better bus/rail interchange at stations such as Evesham and the new Worcestershire Parkway station as well as a boost for the popular Pershore PlumLine bus service in connection with the recently improved links from the town’s rail station.

Pershore Town Council has recently offered its backing for the group’s efforts and VPTG is now seeking the full support of Evesham Town Council having already secured the backing of a number of parish councils represented on the group’s committee.


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