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27th Jun, 2022

Diamond Bus' warning over the Redditch services 'at risk' due to falling passenger numbers

Ashleigh Osborne 21st Jun, 2022 Updated: 21st Jun, 2022

BUS services in Redditch and the surrounding areas are currently on a ‘watch list’ with the risk of service cuts from the end of August.

Diamond Buses, the main operator in the area, have said unless passenger demand increases they will have to withdraw several services due to a rise in costs.

In a statement the company said: “Diamond Bus have been actively in communications with both the DfT and local authorities to consider the consequences of funding removal for local network provision.

“In order to maintain that long term we need passenger levels to return to how they were before the pandemic.”

Services at risk of cuts from July 24:

  • 812 – Redditch to Ridgeway School via The Alexandra Hospital
  • X20 – Stratford On Avon to Coventry via Alcester, Studley, Henley in Arden (the service is at risk
  • of only operating between Solihull and Coventry)
  • S83 – Redditch to North Bromsgrove High via Alvechurch, Barnt Green
  • S85 – Crabbs Cross to Studley High School via Webheath, Redditch

Services at risk of cuts from August 28:

  • 11 – Redditch to Washford Mill via The Alexandra Hospital
  • 12 – Redditch to Astwood Bank via The Alexandra Hospital
  • 52A – The Alexandra Hospital to Princess of Wales Hospital, Bromsgrove
  • 62 – Redditch Circular via Matchborough
  • 67 – Redditch to Studley via The Alexandra Hospital, Lakeside and Greenlands
  • 247 – Redditch to Evesham via The Alexandra Hospital, Studley, Alcester

Councillor Mike Rouse, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “We are currently undertaking a full review of the commercial bus network in Worcestershire, liaising with all of our local bus operators including Diamond to ensure that the Council has a clear view of where Worcestershire stands.”

MP for Redditch, Rachel Maclean said: “I’m not going to sit by whilst my constituents worry about how they will get to work or to their GP appointments. I can absolutely assure them that I am doing everything I can to support local bus services.”

Redditch Labour group have written an open letter to Simon Dunn, Chief Executive Officer of Rotala.

In it the group criticised central government cuts to funding at county and borough council level, adding it meant councils were no longer able to subsidise services.

“Public transport should be accessible to all – it should be a public service and funded appropriately.

“For years we have been unable to access key destinations by bus – Arrow Valley Park, Morton Stanley Park, Abbey Stadium are not on a bus route.”

They said if all services – apart from the 57 and 58 (only viable ones) were removed – around 75 per cent of Redditch would be without access to public transport.

“This would be wholly unacceptable, and would have a severe impact on people being able to travel to work and school, as well as accessing the town centre shopping area. There would no longer be a bus route to local hospitals, increasing demands for NHS transport, taxis or private car use for essential appointments.”

The group called on the county council to ‘look into ways to reintroduce subsidies for less used routes’.

“Diamond Buses must address their customer demands for efficiency – a timetable and buses which can be relied upon.

“It is only by doing this the customer base will grow.

“Public transport must be a good first option, not a last resort.”

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