Campaigners in call for better facilities on the county’s buses - The Evesham Observer

Campaigners in call for better facilities on the county’s buses

Evesham Editorial 19th Jun, 2023   0

IMPROVED bus/rail links, better waiting facilities at key locations and ensuring up to date information for passengers should be urgent priorities for new County Council funding, say county bus campaigners.

The Vale Public Transport Group (VPTG) is also calling on the council for certain bus services axed during Covid to be reinstated and for much better publicity and promotion of existing services following the government’s recent announcement of almost £1.5million in funding for Worcestershire County Council towards its Bus Service Improvement Plan.

The group claims so much more could be achieved to boost usage of existing services -and at minimal cost – if information at bus stops was simplified and regularly kept up to date and pointless and counter productive cost saving measures which has meant the axing of popular paper bus timetables was reversed.

VPTG is also proposing the relocation of certain bus stops on busy main roads to nearby safer, more prominent and accessible locations for passengers.

“The spiral of decline in county bus services since Covid cutbacks has sadly continued on top of savage bus cuts of ten years ago when Worcestershire suffered some of the worst bus cuts in the country,” said VPTG chairman Julian Palfrey.

”This wholesale removal of services has worsened social isolation for both young and old alike, together with health issues this can cause.

“The £1.5million awarded to the county obviously falls well short of the £80million it bid for but it could provide important support for some of these smaller projects to help get people back on the buses such as by designing hourly bus services passing Pershore Station to better meet improved train services and by extending existing bus services from Evesham bus station to Alcester/ Redditch, Broadway and Tewkesbury to and from Evesham rail station which could boost usage of both bus and rail services.

“And the long overdue reinstatement of just one bus service each way lost at the start of Covid would importantly restore a daily bus to no less than seven local and large villages – namely Eckington, Defford, Pinvin, Drakes Broughton, Wadborough, Norton and Littleworth.”

VPTG members are to meet representatives from Great Western Railway, Network Rail and Wychavon District Council at Pershore and Evesham stations at the end of this month as part of a joint effort to progress the bus/rail projects.

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