A RALLYING call has been issued to residents to get back on the buses by West Worcestershire MP Harriett Baldwin.
Bus companies across Worcestershire have confirmed their services are currently seeing lower passenger numbers as people’s behaviour changed after the pandemic.
Following a meeting with Ms Baldwin, County Councillor Mike Rouse confirmed that almost every service was being run at a loss, including every route in West Worcestershire.
Coun Rouse is carrying out a full review to look at solutions to fix the money-losing bus services across the county.
Mrs Baldwin said she had been contacted by dozens of constituents about the bus service reductions, and she was urging the county council to look at ways to underpin the network.
She said: “The bus service operators are clearly struggling but I have been disappointed by the way some of the companies just want to cherry-pick the high-performing routes.
“Many bus services, particularly in rural areas, offer a lifeline for people who aren’t able to travel for study, shopping or work under their own steam.
“Nevertheless, the numbers don’t lie and people still aren’t choosing to use the bus in sufficient numbers to make the routes profitable.
“But my message to passengers is, as it has always has been, use it or lose it.
“The bus industry needs people to return to buses and I hope that the county council will be able to motivate people to choose buses rather than car journeys as they look to deliver on the county’s, and the planet’s, net-zero ambitions.”