LOCAL bus services are just the ticket says Redditch MP Rachel Maclean who is encouraging residents to return to using public transport after lockdown.
It follows a meeting she held on June 8 with her Conservative colleague Councillor Mike Rouse, who holds the highways and transport portfolio on Worcestershire County Council.
Also attending were representatives from Diamond Bus and its parent company Rotala Plc with bus services in Redditch on the agenda.
The meeting heard that bus passenger numbers are still down on pre-pandemic levels, and Mrs Maclean is now encouraging residents, especially concessionary bus pass holders, to hop onboard again.
“As we emerge from the pandemic, passenger numbers are still down as residents haven’t returned to using the bus in the way they did before Covid.
“I would encourage everyone to try taking a bus if you can – they’re safe, clean and affordable. Let’s ensure we make best use of bus services here in Redditch.”
Coun Rouse told the meeting how the County Council will be entering into an enhanced partnership with bus operators in Worcestershire to improve services across the county.
“We are fully committed to an enhanced partnership, which is something the Department for Transport is keen to see too,” he said.
“This will help us to improve ticketing, bus stops and the overall experience in partnership with our operators.
“We will do our bit to make the network attractive and convenient.
“However, we cannot hide away from the stark reality that demand for bus travel all across the country is extremely low, especially amongst those with concessionary passes where usage is 50 per cent of pre-Covid levels.
“We’re doing our bit, but we also need to see the travelling public return to the buses if they want them to remain as a viable service.”