County council vows to save at risk bus service in Evesham - The Evesham Observer

County council vows to save at risk bus service in Evesham

Evesham Editorial 9th May, 2024   0

THE COUNTY Council looks set to save an Evesham bus route after the provider announced the service was at risk of withdrawal.

Astons Coaches, a Worcestershire based transport provider, recently confirmed to the Observer that they would cease operation of their 540 bus service between Evesham and Tewkesbury in the coming months.

In a positive move for Evesham bus users, Worcestershire County Council is in discussions to re-tender the service using some of its £4 million government grant to improve bus services across the region.

Astons Coaches has confirmed, despite fears from local transport campaigners, the service does not look likely to be reduced with no negative effects on the bus route’s current hourly timetable.

A spokesperson for the transport provider told the Observer: “We would like to re-assure our passengers that the County Council are currently out to tender for a new operator for this service and can confirm there appears to be no negative changes in the timetable.”

The news was initially met with alarm from Evesham Vale Bus and Rail group who were concerned the route which connects Evesham and Tewkesbury as well as 10 Bredon Hill villages could be out of action for a while until the route is re-tendered.

“Astons Coaches has operated an excellent and reliable service on this route with comfortable buses and helpful drivers for several years and their decision to withdraw from the route is disappointing and disturbing,” VBR Chair Julian Palfrey.

A spokesperson for Worcestershire County Council said:

“This service will not be lost.

“The 540 is a key bus service within Worcestershire which is supported by the County Council, along with many others as a result of our huge commitment to public transport made in 2022.

“We regret that Astons are unable to continue the service, but the good news is we are already out to tender for a new operator to provide it instead.”

Astons Coaches is set to cease operation of the 540 service on Friday, June 21.


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