THE SHADOW minister for transport has slammed council bosses for spending thousands of pounds of taxpayers money to secure the site of Worcester’s former park and ride.
Mary Creagh MP was speaking during her visit to the city last Thursday (October 30) where she looked around the closed down site in Perdiswell.
Worcester’s park and ride was scrapped in September after Worcestershire County Council revealed the use of the services were on a steady decline.
The site, off John Comyn Drive, has since been fenced off, while the main shelter has been boarded up. It is believed to be costing the council about £3,000 per month, which angered Ms Creagh who described the situation as a “disgrace”.
“This is pretty heartbreaking to see,” she said. “It is in nice part of the city as it is very green and then you have got these concrete eyesores.
“But we have got ghost bus stops like these all over the country. This is one of 1,300 routes we have lost in the last four years.
“There is no doubt the very harsh cuts to the city and county council budget have decimated bus services throughout England and Wales.”
In a national report, which was published in June, Worcester was named the third worst city in the country for congestion during rush hour and Ms Creagh said buses were crucial to alleviating traffic problems.
“We have not only got the public sector bearing an expense of £3,000 on security, but local people have lost a regular reliable bus service and this is part of a pattern which is repeated in most Tory councils,” she added.
“The Conservatives do not understand buses. They don’t understand that young people, part time workers and older people all rely on them. They are a lifeline for our towns, our cites and our rural areas and our local economies.”
A spokesman for Worcestershire County Council said: “The decision to stop operating the service was taken after much deliberation and following the council’s biggest ever consultation on subsidised services.
“The service had been operating at a loss and passenger numbers had been falling for a number of years. While it was in operation the service was well publicised, with signage and information on websites, including tourism sites.”