I read with interest (Kidderminster Shuttle August 9) the outcome of the public enquiry into the reliability of bus services in Kidderminster run by Diamond Buses.

They have been fined a somewhat paltry sum of £9000 for poor punctuality, with no mention of poor maintenance resulting in many breakdowns.

The report also stated that the people of Kidderminster are “poorly served” by their bus service. This has not only come about by poor performance from Diamond, but also the removal of public subsidy by our Transport Authority, namely, Worcestershire County Council because they do not value these services.

Many routes do not run after 6pm, making it difficult to get home from work. Plus, now that we have more restaurants and bars in the town centre, and the District Council is encouraging an expanding night-time economy; how about a decent bus service to go with it?

This historic situation has been brought about by Tory deregulation of the services in all parts of the country except London. This leaves the levels of service up to the bus companies, and not the authorities. Labour wants public transport brought back under democratic control.

Worcestershire is reluctant to get involved or take any responsibility for poor levels of service. What’s more, many other councils take a different view and are a lot more proactive than our local Tories.

Our local councils should be encouraging people to get out of their cars to reduce pollution, but for that to happen we need good public transport. The Transport for London model is a good place to start. It (TFL) controls levels of service, types of buses and fares, and the bus companies are contracted to run a particular route for a fixed sum. I am convinced that with such a system, Diamond would have lost their contract a long time ago. Introducing such a system would need a change in legislation and a transport authority with the political will to do it, that will can only exist if we get a Labour Government.

Diana Udall