Rachel has written to the Bus Minister as part of her mission to do everything she can to support local bus services

It follows a recent meeting Rachel had with Cllr Mike Rouse, Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Highways and Transport on Worcestershire County Council, and representatives from Diamond Bus.

In her letter, Rachel acknowledges the significant challenges facing bus operators, including the impact of passenger numbers remaining far below pre-pandemic levels.

Rachel said:

“I know bus operators may have to make some very difficult decisions, and I’m very much aware of the impact this could have on services in Redditch and the understandable concern and worry this has caused.

“I’m not going to sit by whilst my constituents worry about how they will get to work or to their GP appointments. I can absolutely assure them that I am doing everything I can to support local bus services.

“Working closely with Cllr Mike Rouse, we will leave no stone unturned in our mission to safeguard bus services in Redditch and across Worcestershire.

To support public transport throughout the pandemic, the Government provided bus and light rail operators with an unprecedented package of support totalling £2 billion.

“One local bus operator has said that this Government has supported the bus sector more than any other in the past 36 years,” Rachel added.

Following her recent meeting with Cllr Rouse and Diamond Bus where it was revealed bus passenger numbers are still down on pre-pandemic levels, Rachel encouraged residents to try taking the bus if they can.

“I’ve been criticised for encouraging people to get back on the buses and use the services provided by Diamond Bus,” Rachel added.

“But let’s be clear. Those sitting on the side lines having a go at me for this would be the first ones to complain if no bus company was prepared to run services in Redditch at all.

“I’m absolutely aware of service issues, but in my dealings with Diamond Bus I’ve found them to be nothing but constructive and cordial in trying to address any problems I raise with them.”