20 December 2022
MP Hosts Summit to Boost Bus Use

West Worcestershire MP Harriett Baldwin gathered councillors and local transport experts to develop a plan to improve bus usage.

The summit coincided with the confirmation that the Government will help to encourage more people to hop on a bus by capping the cost of many journeys.

Between January and March, many bus fares will cost a maximum of £2 helping more people to access public transport as part of the Government’s efforts to help people with the rising cost of living.

The measure was welcomed by Harriett and the community leaders who attended the summit and shared ideas about encouraging more people to hop on a bus.

Worcestershire County Councillor Mike Rouse, who is in charge of the local bus strategy, agreed to take suggestions on board as he develops a long-term plan to improve bus usage and bus services.

Harriett said:

“The bus service across rural West Worcestershire has struggled to return to profitability after the pandemic and because of this, bus operators are shrinking coverage, making it even harder for people to choose to use a bus.

“The three-month trial to cap fares will hopefully encourage more people onto buses and during our discussions we agreed that the councils and the bus operators must do much more to promote bus use.

“I’ve always said that this is a case of ‘use it or lose it’ so I welcome the joined-up thinking which came out of the meeting. Councillor Mike Rouse has agreed to take on the challenge of turning our feedback into action and I look forward to hearing his long-term bus service improvement plan soon.”

Councillor Mike Rouse added:

“I’m grateful to Harriett and everyone who attended the session where lots of ideas and issues were discussed.

“As we look to invoke our new Statutory Enhanced Partnership early next year and roll out more demand responsive services it is clear that cross-community collaboration is going to be key in building confidence around our bus services.”