A THREATENED bus service linking Kidderminster with Ludlow has been saved.

Worcestershire and Shropshire Councils have confirmed that Diamond Bus will replace R&B Travel on the 292 service between Ludlow and Kidderminster.

The service also serves Bewdley and Cleobury Mortimer.

The timetable will remain the same from the takeover date - Monday, January 5 - but there could be some changes in the future.

Shropshire Council is set to call a meeting early this month to look at adjustments to the timetable. This is because the present timetable allows only just enough time for the journey if conditions are good.

“At present it is too tight, allowing only 58 minutes between the two towns,” said Andy Boddington, Shropshire councillor for Ludlow North. “In a bus, that’s hard to achieve even with a fair wind behind the bus.

"But this is a 30-mile route over Clee, where the weather can be bad. Then there are roadworks and the traffic jams into Kidderminster.

“It is the most demanding route in our county.

“The haul up and down the Clee can wreck the buses. Most buses are designed to run under the stop-start regime of urban centres.

“Buses like the one that operates in Ludlow are not suited to such a big haul. One transport specialist said trying to use a town bus for this route is like trying to drive a city car from Land’s End to John O’Groats.”

The Ludlow to Kidderminster service was run for a few years by Diamond Bus and was taken over by R&B Travel in March 2018.

A Traffic Commissioner's hearing was held on October 21 where the ending of the service was confirmed. It was set to end on January 5.