DIAMOND Buses have been slammed after announcing they are to stop three key return commuter buses between Redditch and Birmingham.
Rotola-owned Diamond, whose Worcestershire service has been branded the worst in the country, is axing the 5.45am, 6.30am and 7.25am runs by the 146 service from Redditch to the Second City.
It means the first 146 bus to Birmingham from the borough won’t leave until 8.35am, too late for commuters to get to work for a 9am start.
It’s also removing the last bus to Birmingham, which will now leave at 4.35pm instead of the current 5.35pm.
On the return trip the 6.30am, 7.25am and 8.35am will no longer run with the first bus from Birmingham not leaving until 9.55am with the last bus at 5.35pm instead of the current 6.40pm.
Diamond says the services are no longer commercially viable however County Councillor Robin Lunn (Lab, Redditch North) was scathing: “How can they say it isn’t profitable when you consider the density of population?
“Diamond’s timetable is illogical, the fare structure too – I cannot understand why they are not making a profit when these axed buses are going at peak commuter times.”
Coun Lunn added that in discussions with another county bus company on a different matter he’d been told they needed 12 to 15 passengers to make it profitable and taking that as a rule of thumb, questioned Diamond’s inability to make such a key commuter route pay.
He added that if Worcestershire County Council were allowed to run its own bus service he was sure it could do a much better job that Diamond.
A spokesperson for Diamond’s parent company Rotola said: “I can confirm that, due to the commercial viability of the service, we have chosen to remove the journeys that do not carry the minimum number of passengers to cover the vehicle and driver costs.”
The new 146 timetable will come into effect at the end of June.