Council backs bid to revamp buses - The Evesham Observer

Council backs bid to revamp buses

Evesham Editorial 26th Oct, 2018   0

COUNCIL chiefs have given the green light to a district-wide bid to ensure commuters can continue to use public transport across Evesham and Pershore.

Coun Charles Tucker called for funding to be considered for next year’s budget to enable a revamp of public transport in the district following cuts last month which reduced services across the Vale for many commuters.

The Pershore councillor told the meeting he wished to see funding targeted at providing services for teenagers in higher education, getting people to work and ensuring shoppers can get into their respective towns.

Council chiefs also backed proposals to work with volunteer groups across the Vale to identify and develop ways of providing much-needed services to fed-up local bus users.

Coun Tucker told the meeting he didn’t want to subsidise uneconomical bus services or prop up the county council’s budget.

“What it is about is the health and well-being or our residents and the economic health of our district,” he said.

“Most of our residents are self sufficient when it comes to transport and can afford their own car but a significant proportion cannot afford their own car or are unable to drive for a number of reasons.

The Pershore councillor called on the authority to use cash from its budget to support public transport and work with local voluntary groups to examine what could be done to tackle the problems being faced in areas such as Evesham and Pershore.

“If young people don’t come into college they don’t become the trained workers of the future, if workers can’t get into their job they lose out and if people can’t come into our towns, its our High Streets which suffer,” he added.

His calls were seconded by fellow Liberal Democrat Coun Margaret Rowley who said there was a real danger a reduction in bus services would leave vulnerable residents isolated.

Coun Bradley Thomas, portfolio holder for planning, transport and infrastructure lent his support to the calls and work was ongoing to examine how bus services could be introduced in rural areas to tackle the issues faced by local residents.

“We have met with First to talk about the reductions in public transport which have now been implemented and a county scrutiny team has been formed to examine the problem.

“While we do have urban centres in Evesham, Droitwich and Pershore we are pre-dominantly a rural council and I am delighted to offer cross-party support on this.”

Council chiefs backed his proposals unanimously.

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