A BOLD bid for better bus services across Worcester and the county as a whole has been launched by Labour chiefs who have urged fed- up commuters to make their voices heard about local public transport.
Shadow Transport Secretary Andy McDonald MP helped launch the new campaign for better bus services in Worcestershire during a visit to the city last Tuesday (August 13).
Mr McDonald and Labour’s prospective parliamentary candidate for Worcester Lynn Denham, met commuters in Angel Place to discuss issues with the local bus service and also visited Heart of Worcestershire college.
Coun Denham and Mr McDonald heard how college chiefs had been forced to introduce its own student transport between campuses because of the poor provision.
The party has started a petition which calls on Worcestershire County Council to properly fund bus services to address social isolation, environmental issues, equality of access to employment and public services and congestion.
Labour chiefs claim Worcestershire County Council has cut funding for bus services from £5.6million in 2010/11 to just £1.8million for 2018/19 and will hold a county-wide day of action on September 5 before they hand in the petition at the County Council meeting on September 12.
“The county council’s chronic under-investment in Worcestershire’s bus services is having a real impact on people’s lives,” said Coun Denham.
“Better public transport has been proven to reduce loneliness and isolation, reduce traffic jams, improve air pollution and help with climate change. Cuts to services across the county have left communities without vital services they both need and deserve.
“The county must prioritise investment in our public transport infrastructure so people in Worcestershire get better buses and better lives.”
Mr McDonald said: “It’s clear commuters are unhappy with buses which don’t go where they want when they want.
“Labour will totally change the way those bus services are run. We will give local people a say in where the buses go so the bus service serves the community and the local economy too.
“The next Labour government will introduce free bus travel for everybody under the age of 25 as well as keeping free bus passes for pensioner,” he added.
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