By Connie Osborne Friday 30 August 2013 Updated: 30/08 14:19
A REVIEW into the town’s main bus service is underway after Diamond was cleared of an Office of Fair Trading investigation.
A network review into the company’s fleet was officially launched on Tuesday (August 27) after the company’s £1.5million buyout of First bus’ Redditch and Kidderminster operation was found not to have lessened competition in the area.
Previously planned changes to the service were halted by the probe including plans to modernise the fleet, invest in staff and infrastructure.
But about 400 leaflets will now be available on buses within the town, allowing passengers to have their say on the future of transport within the town.
Stephen Haselden, group business development and strategy manager for Rotala which owns Diamond, said the review should take about a month to complete while implementing changes could take up to four months while they waited for approval from the Traffic Commissioner.
“It will be a complete look at Redditch from scratch and into the routes and services we are already providing as well as changes we need to make,” he told the Standard.
He said he was aware links to the hospital needed to be improved while timetable changes would be made on routes such as the 55, 56, 143 and 247.
“We want to hear the things we are doing right as well as the thing we don’t do right. It’s a chance for the people to help shape the service we provide.”
Karen Lumley MP said although she was pleased Diamond would now be able to improve bus services in the borough, she would be placing a Freedom of Information Request into the OFT to see how much the investigation had cost tax payers.
“I am now looking forward to working with Diamond to ensure Redditch gets the bus service it needs and deserves. This news is good for the future of our bus service. Now we must get on and deliver improvements”
A full report of the OFT investigation will be available in the coming weeks.
Residents can take part in the network review by visiting www.diamondbuses.com/news/RedditchNetworkReview_125.html or by filling in a form on the bus and handing them into the driver.
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