September 26th, 2016

Hospital staff and patients hit by bus route changes

Hospital staff and patients hit by bus route changes Hospital staff and patients hit by bus route changes
Updated: 10:07 am, May 07, 2015

CUTS to the town’s bus services have left hospital staff late for work and elderly people struggling to access public transport residents have claimed.

More than 50 people living in Lakeside gathered at Harry Taylor House for a meeting with a representative from Diamond to voice their worries about the changes to the bus network.

A raft of service changes were introduced at the start of September as a result of Worcestershire County Council’s decision to slash bus subsidies by £1.6million.

It resulted in Diamond having to examine the timetables or routes of some services while others were cancelled completely, including the 143 direct service from Redditch to Bromsgrove’s Prince of Wales Hospital which served the area.

Those living in the area now have to walk to the Studley Road to be able to get a bus.

But many said they were too old to make the walk, while a high proportion of people also suffered from disabilities.

Roy Preen, who helped organise the meeting, said: “It is just not good enough for the people around here, there are how many elderly residents and disabled?

“If a 57 or something could come off the Studley Road and into Lakeside and then people could get to the hospital.

“We want a service like the 143.”

He added he knew of three times in the previous week when nurses could not get to the Alexandra Hospital in time for their shifts.

Coun Andy Fry, who is county and borough councillor for the area, added: “Many people are elderly with disabilities and to go to the Studley Road is a big challenge. But if you live even further away it is just too much for them.

“The service is just not working for us, we need something done.”

Another resident added people could no longer do their shopping because they could not carry it home and all people wanted was a bus to stop at four spots across the area.

Simon Hetherington, operations manager for Diamond in Redditch, said he understood the concerns which he would discuss with his director and then update Coun Fry and Mr Preen.

“I don’t want to leave anyone hanging on. But I want to prepare you that changes, if they went ahead, would not happen overnight.”