A PRESSURE group has called for greater investment in public transport services within the region.

Vale Public Transport Group chairman, Julian Palfrey, said: “”All of our political parties were calling for greater investment in bus services before the election and a local poll in Wychavon found that improving local bus services was one of the top priorities.

“We are also calling for greater investment in local rail projects to finally bring an end the 20 year delay in providing additional car parking at Pershore especially where the land for a 200 space car park is available and a suitable footbridge to link the car park with the platform has been identified.

“We believe this offers great potential for improved bus/rail integration and co-ordination particularly at Evesham Station to boost both rail and bus usage and to upgrade Pershore’s popular local PlumLine bus service.”

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The group has expressed their concerns by writing to Vale MPs Harriett Baldwin and Nigel Huddleston, urging greater fairness in central Government funding to “end the wide disparity between public transport spending per head of population in London compared with the Midlands.”

A Department for Transport spokeswoman said: “This Government has committed to improving and expanding bus services – and this is exactly what we intend to do.

“We recently announced a £220 million package to transform services across the country to support Britain’s first all-electric bus town, better information for passengers, and contactless payment on every city bus, on top of the over £2 billion the public sector spends on bus services each year – making journeys greener, easier and more reliable.”

Worcestershire’s buses covered 477,000 more miles last year, new figures reveal.

In Worcestershire, buses clocked up 6.6 million miles in 2018-19, the latest Department for Transport statistics show – up 8% from the year before.

The local authority subsidised 20% of these journeys last year, with the rest run by private companies for profit.

But with England’s bus mileage dwindling to its lowest level in more than three decades elsewhere, campaigners and council chiefs blame rising car use, congestion and cuts to transport funding for the millions of miles lost.