Passengers urged to have say on Redditch bus review

By Ian Dipple Friday 23 November 2012 Updated: 23/11 14:04

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Buy photos » Stephen Haselden, group business development manager and Sarah Lewis urge people to get involved in the network review. (s)

PASSENGERS are being urged to have their say on future bus service provision in the borough.

A network review is being carried out by Rotala, which runs Diamond services, to look at where existing timetables can be extended or new routes added.

Stephen Haselden, group business development manager for Rotala, said Redditch had been overlooked in the past but they were serious about working with residents to try and meet their needs.

"Overall we know people want buses that turn up on time, are safe and reliable and we feel that's not a lot to ask for," he told the Standard.

"We want as many people as possible to get involved so we can get a feel for what Redditch needs as a whole.

"Redditch is a wonderful place to live and work and to run buses as it is self-contained and we want to become part of the community and part of the way people get in and out of and around Redditch."

As a result of early conversations with passengers the company has already increased the frequency of the key 57 and 58 services at peak times from every 15 minutes to every seven minutes.

A new 70A service is being introduced which will run on the same route as the 70 but will also serve the new Imagination Street play centre opening in Astwood Bank. As a result the 70 service will in effect become a half hourly service instead of every 40 minutes.

The company has also agreed to run the 57 and 58 services later into the evening between December 17 and New Year's Day to coincide with late night opening hours in the Kingfisher Shopping Centre.

Mr Haselden said the move could pave the way at some point for the return of a permanent late night bus service, axed earlier this year due to concerns over vandalism and anti-social behaviour.

"At the moment there's no appetite for it as there's not enough open at night. When we did run buses up to midnight when you take into account the graffiti, the smashed windows, etc it was not economically viable but the Christmas extension is a trial to see, if we were minded to, it would be viable going forward."

He added concerns about a lack of service to the Alexandra Hospital were also being fed into the review while the company was introducing a monthly pass from December 1 costing £22 - equivalent to 71p a day - and a £1 day ticket over Christmas to help with travel costs.

Passengers can have their say by visiting www.diamondbuses.com or pick up a paper copy available on Diamond buses.

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