A POPULAR bus route into the heart of the city will return later this month following an agreement between a Claines county councillor and First Bus chiefs.
The under-fire firm announced in September they would axe the 37 route the following month and blamed falling passenger numbers and increased operating costs for their decision to pull the plug.
But Coun Andy Stafford has now stepped in to save the service which will again hit the roads from Saturday, November 23.
The 37 First Bus service operates from Worcester city centre along the Ombersley Road to Green Lane in Bevere, with a loop through Northwick. Since the announcement was made to withdraw the service Coun Andy Stafford has been working closely with council officers and First Bus to find a way to reinstate the route.
“I will be using my councillor’s divisional fund to subsidise the service to get it back up and running. I would like to thank Conservative candidate for the General Election Robin Walker for his support, the hard work of council officers and the willingness of First Bus to help us arrive at a workable solution,” Coun Stafford said.
“Thank you to everyone who showed their support for the service by signing our petition. I encourage everyone to continue to show their support for the service by using it, and I will be working on schemes to increase usage further.”
A number of options were considered, including a reduced Saturday service, however Coun Stafford said a full service was necessary if more people are to be encouraged to use the service and to keep it viable for the longer term.
There will be future announcements regarding the Monday to Friday 37 service and about ideas to increase passenger usage.
“The 37 bus service is a lifeline for residents in Claines, with many dependent upon it. It is essential we have a comprehensive bus services so that vulnerable residents do not become socially isolated. If we are to tackle Climate Change we must also give people viable alternative to using their cars,” he added.
The Claines county and city councillor revealed his delight the service would be reinstated in time for the Victorian Fayre which kicks off on November 28 and the start of the hectic Christmas shopping period.