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Government pledges £30 million for bus services

22nd October 2019

Worcestershire County Council will next year be able to access a £30 million fund to help improve bus services or restore routes abandoned by private bus companies.

The fund is part of a £220 million investment package introduced by the Chancellor last month to improve bus services and fund better vehicles across the country.

West Worcestershire MP Harriett Baldwin questioned Transport Ministers on the fund following a series of conversations with the local authority and First Bus on the latest bus service timetable changes.

Harriett took the issue up after receiving a series of complaints from local people about the timetable changes, including the abandonment of the daytime service between Worcester and Upton-upon-Severn, through Kempsey.

Astons Coaches have agreed to carry on the service underpinned by money from the extensive housing development in the growing village.

Harriett commented: “I was pleased that the county council was able to access housing development funds so quickly to underpin the abandoned Kempsey bus service but there is a wider issue about which services still need to be subsidized.

“The council is due to consider this matter in detail soon so I was eager to understand what central Government help is being planned. I have encouraged Worcestershire County Council to work with the Department for Transport to access this fund and make sure we get the right bus services for local people.

“The council shares my view that the risk of closing bus services is leaving elderly and vulnerable people isolated and we must all work together to ensure we have the right blend of private, publicly-subsidised and community transport schemes to help mitigate this risk.”

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