Bus cuts not as severe as had been feared in Wychavon

PERSHORE will lose its last Sunday bus after a ream of cuts were made to services across the county in a bid to save £1.6 million.

The change is one of many rubber stamped on Monday at county hall by the council cabinet.

But despite the loss of the Sunday service the changes are not as bad as had been feared by Pershore Town Council, which has been fighting to keep important routes.

Pershore Mayor, councillor Tony Rowley, said: "We are pleased these changes have been confirmed. It's certainly better than what the original plan, which was getting rid of all the subsidies."

As part of the original proposals the entire £3 million yearly spend on buses was to be scrapped.

This changed following a major public consultation last September which led to a whopping 8,500 responses, the largest ever single collection of feedback to the council.

Cllr Rowley added: "I think it shows the importance of the proper consultation and the fact you participate in the consultation."

The changes in and around Pershore and Evesham will see the loss of the 116 service Sunday service from Worcester to Stratford via Evesham and Bidford, the loss of some evening journeys on the 382 and 551, the possible loss of early morning journeys on the R4 between Willersey, Broadway and Evesham, the removal of Upton Snodsbury and Peopleton from the 566 and some changes or reductions to the 350, the 564 and 565 and the 582.

Cllr Charles Tucker, former Mayor of Pershore, was part of the Pershore working group that submitted a petition against the cuts of 1,600 signatures.

He said: "While any reduction is regrettable we have saved the core of the services. The Hopper and the Plum Line have been protected.

"The county council made a policy decision not to subsidise Sunday buses. I can understand that but it is not to say they are not important. We will see what we can do about that in the future.

"I am pleased the work we have done has born fruit."

Harriett Baldwin, West Worcestershire MP, has also welcomed the proposals.

She said: "I received many letters and emails from local people setting out the case to protect local bus services and I was able to pass on local views to council chiefs.

"I was particularly concerned about services helping students to get to school and college and ensuring that the Hopper service stays in place."

At the meeting on Monday Cllr John Smith, the cabinet member for highways and transport, said: "The officers have worked tirelessly and I believe we've now got an acceptable solution to what is a very emotive issue."

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