Worcester's park-and-ride schemes may still be privatised amid cuts

Evesham Journal: The door is still open for private firms to take over Worcester's park-and-ride schemes The door is still open for private firms to take over Worcester's park-and-ride schemes

A COME-and-get-us plea has been issued for Worcester’s threatened park and ride sites – even if it means operators running a worse service.

The Conservative politician in charge of Worcestershire’s public transport says the door is still open for potential operators to run the city’s two park and rides at Perdiswell and Sixways.

Councillor John Smith said they are still “up for grabs” and less frequent journeys would be preferable to none at all.

Both services cost taxpayers about £250,000 a year to run, and Worcestershire County Council is preparing to scrap the subsidy by September to save cash.

The Perdiswell park and ride costs 68p a journey, while the Sixways one is subsidised to the tune of £1.66 a trip.

The cuts form part of a yearly £3 million subsidy for public transport which is due to end, leading to heavy criticism from the public and transport campaign groups.

Coun Smith, cabinet member for highways and transportation, said: “We need to make the park and ride services viable, even if it means a different service being offered compared with now.

“It might mean fewer journeys during the day, but the same service in the morning, for example.

“We don’t want it to go, but it’s got to be viable and must be run on a commercial basis.

“The consultation is ongoing and I know there’s been a good response, but the whole thing is very much up for grabs.”

A report for the Conservative cabinet is due out around February and it will update them on the talks with operators.

Use of the Perdiswell site in Droitwich Road peaked in 2008/09 when 450,783 trips were made on it in a year, but it has fallen to 332,165.

At Sixways, which primarily serves Worcestershire Royal Hospital, just 63,956 journeys were made last year.

The decline in popularity led to the council revealing in September that no more park and rides would be built around the city under the current leadership.

The £3 million public transport subsidy includes 88 bus services on 43 routes, including swathes of evening and weekends pick-ups.


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Comments (5)

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11:14am Thu 2 Jan 14

liketoknow says...

not sure 'privatised ' is the right term. public transport was denationalised years ago. routes generally go out to tender and these park and ride services have been operated by several companies. perhaps 'desubsidised ' would be a more apt word.
not sure 'privatised ' is the right term. public transport was denationalised years ago. routes generally go out to tender and these park and ride services have been operated by several companies. perhaps 'desubsidised ' would be a more apt word. liketoknow

11:58am Thu 2 Jan 14

robby1234 says...

Why continue with the park and ride. To run the park and ride costs an average of £8+ per passenger and the council could waste money on much more useful waste's of money.
I was using the bus service for the first and last time a while back. I stood at the bus stop and an empty park and ride bus approached but failed to stop when I requested.
On alighting the following empty bus some minutes later I enquired of the driver why the park and ride bus didn't stop and was informed that it is dedicated bus for clients using the park and ride scheme.
What a complete and utter incompetent waste of tax payers money.
We have a problem with those running our council in that they appear to have not one ounce of business acumen among them. If they were running the council as a business it would be bankrupt in 5 minutes.
Why continue with the park and ride. To run the park and ride costs an average of £8+ per passenger and the council could waste money on much more useful waste's of money. I was using the bus service for the first and last time a while back. I stood at the bus stop and an empty park and ride bus approached but failed to stop when I requested. On alighting the following empty bus some minutes later I enquired of the driver why the park and ride bus didn't stop and was informed that it is dedicated bus for clients using the park and ride scheme. What a complete and utter incompetent waste of tax payers money. We have a problem with those running our council in that they appear to have not one ounce of business acumen among them. If they were running the council as a business it would be bankrupt in 5 minutes. robby1234

2:24pm Thu 2 Jan 14

CHANDBRUSH says...

The reason for park and ride was to keep cars out of town and provide a service to people .Worcester has poor access for cars and poor parking.Why pretend we are being consulted when it is obvious the thing is cut and dried as usual our elected representatives know best and do not have any intention of telling the truth.
The reason for park and ride was to keep cars out of town and provide a service to people .Worcester has poor access for cars and poor parking.Why pretend we are being consulted when it is obvious the thing is cut and dried as usual our elected representatives know best and do not have any intention of telling the truth. CHANDBRUSH

7:38pm Thu 2 Jan 14

newike says...

It seems sad to state that Sixways is failing and the council feel it is not worth supporting, but Perdiswell Park and Ride could be very successful if continued. The more the council increase parking prices the more people would use Perdiswell for it would be cheaper. Close it and the city will have 330,000 extra journeys a year into an overcrowded city centre with insufficient parking.
Alternatively close the park and rides and increase parking prices and several hundred thousand visitors may decide to shop elsewhere. At the same time many local workers face the extra costs of city parking. The local politicians would then be totally responsible for destroying little by little a fairly vibrant city centre.
It seems sad to state that Sixways is failing and the council feel it is not worth supporting, but Perdiswell Park and Ride could be very successful if continued. The more the council increase parking prices [ mad idea ] the more people would use Perdiswell for it would be cheaper. Close it and the city will have 330,000 extra journeys a year into an overcrowded city centre with insufficient parking. Alternatively close the park and rides and increase parking prices and several hundred thousand visitors may decide to shop elsewhere. At the same time many local workers face the extra costs of city parking. The local politicians would then be totally responsible for destroying little by little a fairly vibrant city centre. newike

10:52pm Thu 2 Jan 14

Samboy says...

Put the 'Park & Rides' where they will be used and have dedicated stops other than the City Centre. For example, if you need to get to the Magstrates Court then P&R is no use.The key points for access to the City surely are the Motorway junctions and Powick. I live in Callow End and can see no reason to drive to Perdiswell or 6ways. The northern approaches are not the most heavily used roads into Worcester.
Put the 'Park & Rides' where they will be used and have dedicated stops other than the City Centre. For example, if you need to get to the Magstrates Court then P&R is no use.The key points for access to the City surely are the Motorway junctions and Powick. I live in Callow End and can see no reason to drive to Perdiswell or 6ways. The northern approaches are not the most heavily used roads into Worcester. Samboy

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