THE cost to ride Diamond buses in Kidderminster will go up from Wednesday this week, while discounted morning rates for the elderly and disabled will be cut on some services altogether.

Diamond Buses has pledged to invest in new modern and more environmentally-friendly vehicles in 2019, however single and return fares will rise by between 10p and 20p from January 2, which the company says is in response to 'increasing operational and employment costs and reducing local authority subsidies'.

The fare rises mean adults in Kidderminster will now pay £3.80 instead of £3.50 for a day ticket, £15 instead of £13 for a week, and £38 up from £36 for a monthly pass.

A children's day ticket will increase by 50p to £2.50, while a weekly pass will rise from £9 to £11.50. A family day pass will cost £8.50 - a rise of £1.

Meanwhile 'Twirlybird' tickets, which offer a concessionary price for senior and disabled travellers before 9.30am, will no longer be available on some long distance routes, including the 3 service from Kidderminster to Arley Kings, the 42/43 from Redditch and Bromsgrove to Kidderminster, the 192 from Kidderminster to Halesowen, the 292S from Kidderminster to Cleobury Mortimer or the 302/303 from Kidderminster to Worcester.

The weekly fare on the 125 Stourbridge to Kidderminster will also be withdrawn.

A statement on the Diamond Bus website reads: "Diamond are dedicated to providing local bus travel at a lower price, however increasing operational and employment costs and reducing local authority subsidies mean that some fare increases are unavoidable.

"As part of our commitment to improve the quality of our service to passengers, we are investing in more new vehicles in 2019.

"New buses will provide a better travel experience on new modern vehicles, improve reliability and the environmental benefits of these vehicles means we also contribute less emissions into the local environment.

"Where possible, we have tried to keep any increases as low as possible and in many cases we are still offering the lowest cost fares on services within the West Midlands network.

"In a 2018 industry survey Diamond bus fares were found to be some of the lowest in the country and despite the new year increases we are still offering many of our day tickets at below the national average."