DIAMOND Buses in Worcestershire has been named as the worst bus service in the country – by its own passengers.
The results are published in a nationwide survey of passengers carried out last autumn by public transport watchdog Transport Focus.
Diamond Buses in Worcestershire scored the lowest for ‘overall satisfaction with bus journey’ with just 26 per cent of users giving the service the thumbs up.
This was five percentage points worse than the next nearest in England, Swindon’s Bus Company in Swindon, which scored 31 per cent.
Diamond was also the UK’s worst for punctuality, recording a 23 per cent satisfaction rate.
The figure was even lower for value for money, with just nine per cent of passengers giving it the thumbs up, one ahead of First Scotland East in Tayside and Central.
This is despite ticket prices in Redditch being the lowest in the UK according to a 2018 survey by passenger transport specialists the TAS Partnership.
Matters did improve, just, with the on bus journey time, with 37 per cent of passengers giving the company their approval, ahead of Stagecoach in Nottinghamshire which scored 33 per cent.
Disregarding individual companies, residents in Worcestershire rated their bus journey experience at 61 per cent, the worst in the country.
The best performer was Trent Barton Buses in Derbyshire which scored 96 per cent.
In a statement Diamond Buses, part of the Rotala group, said: “We are disappointed to see Diamond has scored poorly.
“As a business, we are continually working to improve our services for the general public. However we feel a number of factors contributed to a low public perception during that period.
“The survey was undertaken at a time when the company had been called to a Public Inquiry by the Traffic Commissioner for timeliness.
“This attracted considerable negative attention.
“Little focus was placed on reporting that Diamond were able to report 92 per cent on time performance, a standard which is above regional timeliness statistics for the West Midlands and London.
“During autumn 2018, we were in the process of cutting services and reducing school services in the region.
“This attracted negative exposure for us as a business, but was a result of local authority funded services being cut.
“Additionally, our services have been increasingly effected by heavy periods of roadworks across the Worcestershire network.”