Two bus services temporarily saved from axe

Kidderminster Shuttle: Two bus services temporarily saved from axe Two bus services temporarily saved from axe

TWO bus services have been temporarily saved from the axe after Worcestershire County Council agreed to consider them alongside other threatened services.

The 197 Hagley to Kidderminster, which goes through Blakedown, and the circular 7A bus services were included in the public consultation into the proposed cuts in error as a decision to end the services had already been made.

The county council now plan to consider the buses as part of the wider review and will continue subsidising the services until at least September.

Conservative county councillor for Blakedown Stephen Clee said: “I have been working extremely hard for the residents of Blakedown on the original bus changes following extensive discussions at County Hall and I'm delighted the original changes have been frozen.

"The community of Blakedown rely very heavily on a link between the villages and Kidderminster some 12 miles away. It is the only way my residents can access doctors' surgeries and shops so freezing the proposed withdrawal is very welcome news."

The services were to be withdrawn as a result of the 2011 budget reductions. At the time, the withdrawal was deferred while alternative arrangements could be made with community transport providers, which were due to be implemented last Friday.

Churchill and Blakedown parish councillor Jim Long said: "It's only temporary but it gives us time to find alternatives. I'm delighted that they actually decided to take seriously what users are saying.

"It's been included in the consultation by default, it would have been wholly wrong to invite responses for a second time and not use them."

County councillor John Smith, cabinet member with responsibility for highways, said “We've consistently said that due to the financial challenges there's no easy answers when it comes tough issues like this but, importantly, we stressed the public's views would be taken into account and this shows that we are listening."

Comments (2)

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7:43pm Thu 27 Feb 14

Green Olive says...

It is good to see that Councillor Clee understands the impact that the loss of subsidised bus services will have on local residents who do not have access to a car. Although some services will be saved the county council is cutting the bus budget by 60% so many services will be axed. The council is now deciding which services will be retained. I am sure that there will be lots of interest in the criteria on which decisions are made. Is it social need, the level of use, or will it be "political" considerations? Convenient that the outcome will not be available until after the local elections.
It is good to see that Councillor Clee understands the impact that the loss of subsidised bus services will have on local residents who do not have access to a car. Although some services will be saved the county council is cutting the bus budget by 60% so many services will be axed. The council is now deciding which services will be retained. I am sure that there will be lots of interest in the criteria on which decisions are made. Is it social need, the level of use, or will it be "political" considerations? Convenient that the outcome will not be available until after the local elections. Green Olive
  • Score: -1

11:20pm Thu 27 Feb 14

Stephen Brown says...

Election coming up, seats under threat, let's have a tory good news story about buses and how the tories are working 'hard' to save services when in reality the majority of supported bus routes will go, after the district elections please note, thanks to Clee & co. Handclaps all around.
Election coming up, seats under threat, let's have a tory good news story about buses and how the tories are working 'hard' to save services when in reality the majority of supported bus routes will go, after the district elections please note, thanks to Clee & co. Handclaps all around. Stephen Brown
  • Score: 2

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