Residents urged to have their say as the future of Worcestershire's bus services is set to be discussed at county council - The Droitwich Standard

Residents urged to have their say as the future of Worcestershire's bus services is set to be discussed at county council

Droitwich Editorial 19th May, 2022   0

RESIDENTS are urged to attend a meeting – either virtually or in person – being held to discuss the future of Worcestershire’s bus services.

People are also being encouraged to have their say at the meeting of Worcestershire County Council’s Overview and Scrutiny

Performance Board meeting which will take place at 10am on Wednesday, May 25, at County Hall.

The meeting will be webcast on the county council’s website.

Officers have been asked to present an update report to the panel following the recent unsuccessful Bus Service Improvement

Plan funding bid, and the ongoing Passenger Transport Strategy.

The council submitted its Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP) to the Department for Transport (DFT), requesting £86million to improve the Worcestershire Passenger Transport network and to fulfill the county’s vision to develop a long term, sustainable and enhanced public transport network.

But on April 4 the council was told by the DFT it had been unsuccessful.

The council warned the ending of the Bus Recovery Grant (BRG) funding later this year was likely to result in further service reductions across Worcestershire.

Bromsgrove and Droitwich are among the areas hit by service reductions – last month the 144 was reduced by First Bus Worcester from going all the way to Birmingham to terminating in Catshill.

Since then National Express West Midlands stepped in and introduced a 144A which – currently on a six-month trial basis – operates between Bromsgrove and Birmingham to fill the void left by the changes.

Coun Tom Wells, Chairman of Overview and Scrutiny Panel, said: “This meeting is a real opportunity for the Board to discuss the current situation with bus travel in the county and how bus services may change and operate in the future.

“We will be speaking to officers and finding out the current situation to ensure and our residents get the services they need and deserve.”

The DFT has asked the council to undertake a full review of the commercial network in Worcestershire and officers at County Hall are already working on this.

The review is aimed at giving the council a clear view of where the county is currently in terms of bus travel – taking into account the changes in passenger demand and the impact on fare revenue.

The council will then use the findings of the review to examine what service levels are required going forward and what is commercially viable for the future.

Click here at 10am on Wednesday to view the webcast.

Anyone wanting to speak at the meeting should email [email protected] before 9am on Tuesday, May 24.

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