West Worcestershire MP Harriett Baldwin has urged county councillors to review bus service provision as a major bus operator confirms the withdrawal of services.
First Bus has confirmed that it is contracting services all over the county affecting commuters and leisure users.
Harriett met with Worcestershire County Councillor Alan Amos – who is responsible for the bus service provision – and urged him to look at innovative solutions to fill the gaps left by the First Bus withdrawal.
First Bus managing director Nigel Eggleton wrote to Harriett this week confirming that the popular 44 bus route between Malvern and Worcester has now been reduced and the service cancelled altogether on Sundays.
“I am disappointed by the decision taken by First Bus and particularly saddened at how it is waving the white flag of surrender over bus service provision.
“Over the years I have spoken up for specific bus routes and have been assured that First Bus is committed to the county and delivering services which my constituents rely on. That assurance now looks far from reliable.
“Although the company blames the impact of Covid, other forms of public transport, like trains are back to near normal operation so I have to take the First Bus explanation with a big pinch of salt.
“I know that the county council is looking at alternative ways to underpin the bus service including an innovative on-demand community transport scheme.
“I’ve also spoken to the district councils about supporting innovative transport schemes particularly for young people who are now excluded from travelling to and from study or work.
“And I have asked Councillor Amos to properly review bus service provision to ensure that it is an open and competitive market which will allow all bus companies to compete for routes.”