BUS users in Kidderminster won't have to pay fares on Diamond's number 3 service for seven days as compensation for the firm's "punctuality failings".

Between Monday, May 13 and Sunday, May 19, Diamond Bus has agreed to provide free travel to passengers using the route between Kidderminster and Areley Kings, following an order made by the Traffic Commissioner.

Nick Denton, Traffic Commissioner for the West Midlands, told the operator it had to compensate passengers after imposing a financial penalty of £9,075 on the company last year.

Following a public inquiry in June 2018, Mr Denton said passengers in the Kidderminster area had been "particularly poorly served" by the company.

He told Diamond it had to pay a financial penalty but decided the money should be used to compensate passengers.

Diamond Bus challenged the Traffic Commissioner's decision but the appeal was dismissed last month by the Upper Tribunal.

As a result, the company has now agreed to give passengers free travel for seven days.

A spokesman for Diamond Bus said: "We have been working to address the concerns of the Traffic Commissioner and in addition to offering a week of free travel, we will also be releasing a new timetable in late-April to improve performance on this route.

"During the seven days, passengers will not be charged for using the 3 service.

"Diamond has also agreed that no claims will be made for concessionary passengers on this service, which means that the  local authority will also benefit and save on concessionary reimbursements for this period."

The Traffic Commissioner said advance notice of the dates will give passengers who use monthly passes the opportunity to change to weekly in order to take full advantage of the free travel.