A WOMAN has slammed the county council over extortionate bus fares which are forcing people to use their cars.

Sarah Murray claims the current level of bus fares is so high it makes driving cheaper than using public transport.

The county council's overview and scrutiny are discussing the future of the bus service in Worcester on Wednesday (March 25).

Mrs Murray's email said: "The public has been urged to listen to the live streaming of this meeting and are invited to request the opportunity to speak at it, however, the timing of the meeting excludes a lot of working people and school children, all of whom have a vested interest in public transport provision.

"I understand Overview and Scrutiny are discussing the services that residents want and need. What specific data will they use to inform their findings on this matter?

"The current level of bus fares is so high it makes driving cheaper than using public transport. We currently have a service that runs near-empty buses at prices which are unattractive to users, many of whom don’t drive, such as young people and many elderly people.

"This will give skewed data as it looks like the service is unwanted rather than the true position which is that far more people would use a regular, reliable and affordable service if one were available.

"The last thing we need, with rising fuel prices, are cuts to this much-needed service."

A spokesperson for Worcestershire County Council said: "We know that bus services are important to our residents, and we’re very pleased that a number of residents have asked to take up the opportunity for Public Participation at the next Overview and Scrutiny meeting.

"The County Council as the local transport authority has no control of bus fares, fares prices are set by the bus operators for their commercial services.

"We are currently working with our operators to undertake a comprehensive review of the bus network in Worcestershire, including prices, passenger numbers, and bus frequency.

"If members of the public are unable to watch the meeting as it happens, they are recorded and retained for 6 months on our website to be rewatched after the event.”