LOW passenger numbers and rising costs have been blamed for Evesham losing a number of bus services in new cuts announced by the county council in its latest Bus Bulletin.

At least nine services affecting Evesham and Pershore have been axed while others have been re-routed or re-timed.

The Service 29 between Evesham and Stratford, operated by Warwickshire County Links has been re-timed because of changes to the route in Warwickshire.

The 166 service from Worcester to Stratford via Pershore and Evesham will now have a last run time of 3.45pm from Worcester, as the 6.45pm service has been withdrawn because of low passenger numbers. At the same time, the 163 service from Pershore to Stratford has been withdrawn because of the high subsidy per passenger.

Also withdrawn is the Diamond Bus Service 246 from Evesham to Redditch at 9.15pm on Fridays and Saturdays. The last departure from Evesham will now be at 6pm on Monday to Saturday and on Sundays the 9.19 service is also withdrawn.

However, there was some good news for local schools. Journeys that were previously withdrawn, operating via Badsey village for Blackminster Middle School and the 4pm journey from Evesham bus station via Evesham High School, are to be reinstated to meet the needs of both schools. The journeys will be operated under contract to Worcestershire County Council.

The 540 service between Evesham, Tewkesbury and Cheltenham is to be run by Astons Coaches and is to be re-routed via Charity Crescent.

Some evening journeys on the 550/551/557 services between Evesham, Pershore and Worcester are also to be withdrawn because of low passenger numbers and the 11.15pm will terminate at Pinvin Crossroads.

A full list of all the alterations - which will take effect from February 25, can be found in the Bus Bulletin, which was received by Evesham Town Council this week.