Here is a copy of an open letter to our MP.

“Dear Robin Walker,

I am writing to object strongly to the further cuts to bus services in Worcester proposed by First Bus as a result of County Council huge reduction in subsidies.

These cuts are short-sighted, take no account of people’s social well-being, do not address issues of poor air quality, traffic congestion nor significant impacts on our local economy.

 Many of your constituents will suffer hardship if these cuts go ahead.  They will increase isolation in the elderly, the young, those with disabilities, the vulnerable and for those without cars. Also affected will be low-paid shift workers who will not be able to get to work and back when the evening bus services after 8pm end in September.

It will be harder or impossible for people to access health services, education or work opportunities.

 Worcestershire County Council has obligations to promote sustainability, develop the local economy (for every £1 invested in bus services £8 goes back into Worcester’s economy), protect the interests of the elderly, the young, the disabled, and, of course, to tackle climate change.

Cutting bus services will make all of these more difficult if not impossible to achieve. Is this what you want for Worcester?

 It is clear that First Bus is not willing to run any services that cannot break even without a subsidy from Worcestershire County Council.

These subsidies have been drastically cut by your government which has repeatedly slashed funding to local councils; cut the fuel grant to bus companies and reduced payments for free bus pass users. The county council has removed £3million in bus subsidies.

 I urge you to join with us to speak out and demand that your government and the county council increases the subsidy to bus operators so that socially necessary but unprofitable services can be restored.”

Andy Graham

Campaign Co-ordinator on behalf of the Worcester Labour Party