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Fresh plea over bus cuts in Worcestershire
FRESH pleas have been made to scrap proposals to cut £3m from public transport in Worcestershire - with passengers making a plea for the city council to intervene.
During a full council meeting at the Guildhall, bus user Anna Frankel said it was “critical” that the authority rallied against it.
As your Worcester News revealed three weeks ago, the county council wants to remove its entire public transport subsidy, which funds 88 bus services.
It includes the 31 bus from Worcestershire Royal Hospital to the city centre and St John’s, and swathes of evening and weekend services.
Mrs Frankel, speaking to all councillors at the start of the meeting, said: “Roads transport is the biggest contributor to global warming, and public transport is a critical component of any strategy to tackle it.
“Will you be opposing this, and will you take steps to discourage car use by taking action?”
She also called for clear “political leadership” to shown over it, with a consultation period running until January.
The cuts also include public subsidies to Worcester’s two park and rides, at Sixways and Perdiswell, with the county council hoping private operators can pick up the slack.
Councillor Adrian Gregson, city council leader, said he was worried about the roads network “already being at capacity” at certain times during the day.
“There is clearly deep concern about the impact of the cuts being proposed,” he said.
“It’s interesting how subsidies can be offered to BT and other businesses, but not for those trying to get to work.
“The people who really need these buses, for shopping, for employment, to get to hospital will be most disadvantaged.
“We will have to give a response to the county council to indicate the concerns we are picking up.”
The county council had defended the cuts by saying 85 per cent of Worcestershire’s bus network is already fully commercial.
The authority wants bus operators to increase fares or change routes to make them more affordable.
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