Review could see return of evening bus services

By Harriet Ernstsons Friday 23 November 2012 Updated: 23/11 10:46

THE PROVISION of evening bus services could be extended.

Bosses at First Bus have agreed to look in the new year at further increasing the timetable for the 57 and 58 services. It follows strong demand after First started running services later into the evening on Fridays and Saturdays in July this year, after their withdrawal by rival firm Diamond due to a spate of anti-social behaviour.

Operations manager Phil Haines said: "If it keeps on track, we will in the New Year be looking to extend the service over some additional evenings. Whether that will be over the whole week it is impossible to say.

"We have no intention of withdrawing it and there is no cause for concern if the figures continue along the lines they are doing.

"We have had no issues whatsoever with vandalism and the drivers feel quite safe."

Sgt Neil Billingham, from the Church Hill Safer Neighbourhood Team, said safety measures had been introduced including officers and CSOs riding on buses and following them in patrol cars, while the council had improved lighting and landscaping along the route.

"Following these measures we have seen a reduction in the amount of anti-social behaviour in the area and hope it will stay this way in the future."

Coun Rebecca Blake, responsible for community safety on Redditch Borough Council, welcomed the announcement and said she was also talking to the company about reintroducing a service which stops outside the Alexandra Hospital.

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