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Two bus services temporarily saved from axe
6:20am Thursday 27th February 2014 in News
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The services were to be withdrawn as a result of the 2011 budget reductions.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."
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