Axe-threat bus routes look set to be saved

By Ian Dipple Thursday 05 June 2014 Updated: 09/06 16:45

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Buy photos » Concessionary bus travel before 9.30am has been cut by Worcestershire County Council.

UNDER threat bus services in Redditch look set to be saved from the chop despite cuts of £1.6million still being made.

Worcestershire County Council has spent the last three months reviewing the 100 services across the county at risk of being axed and now say all except 12 of them can continue, albeit with some timetable and route changes as well as price rises in some cases.

The Standard reported in February how transport chiefs were forced to u-turn on an original proposal to remove £3million of bus subsidies used to prop up unprofitable routes, in the face of mass public opposition. In total 8,500 people responded to a public consultation overwhelmingly rejecting the plan voicing concerns about how the loss of services would leave them unable to access GP

surgeries, work and school.

As a result of the review the council will still spend £1.4million on subsidising bus services when the changes are introduced from September and under revised proposals all 16 of the services at risk in Redditch have been secured.

All school services will continue to operate as before, the 60 and 61 services which includes the Abbey Stadium and Morrison’s will be combined to provide a similar level of frequency as will the 50 and 63 around Batchley and Southcrest.

The 350 bus between the Alexandra Hospital and Worcestershire Royal will remain but with some timetable changes while the 145 bus between Redditch and Longbridge continues largely as is but will no longer go to Rubery. The 182 and 183 services between Lickey and

Bromsgrove and Rowney Green via Redditch will continue but be reduced from five to three days a week.

The revised plan is expected to be approved by the council’s decision-making cabinet on Monday (June 9).

Coun John Smith OBE, responsible for highways on the council, said: “We have got a good solution out of what has been a pretty difficult situation for us.

“We have listened to the public and done all we could. Some services aren’t going to be as regular as they were but the majority of services are up and running. There may be some small fare increases but that’s what the consultation said, anything around 50 pence people would be prepared to pay.”

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