Rachel is encouraging residents to return to the buses and use local services.

It follows a meeting Rachel held on Wednesday (June 8th) with the Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport on Worcestershire County Council, Cllr Mike Rouse, and representatives from Diamond Bus and Rotala Plc to discuss bus services in Redditch.

It was discussed at the meeting that bus passenger numbers are still down on pre-pandemic levels, and Rachel is now encouraging residents, especially concessionary bus pass holders, to use local bus services.

Rachel said:

“As we emerge from the pandemic, passenger numbers are still down on pre-pandemic levels as residents just haven’t returned to using the bus in the way that they did before COVID.

“I would encourage everyone to try taking a bus if you can – they’re safe, clean and affordable. Let’s ensure we make best use of bus services here in Redditch.”

At the meeting, Cllr Rouse set out how the County Council will be entering into an Enhanced Partnership with bus operators in Worcestershire in order to improve bus services across the county.

Cllr Mike Rouse added:

“We are fully committed to an Enhanced Partnership, which is something the Department for Transport is keen to see too. This will help us to improve ticketing, bus stops and the overall experience in partnership with our operators. We will do our bit to make the network attractive and convenient.

“However, we cannot hide away from the stark reality that demand for bus travel all across the country is extremely low especially amongst those with concessionary passes where usage is 50% of pre-COVID levels. We’re doing our bit, but we also need to see the travelling public return to the buses if they want them to remain as a viable service.”