COMMUTERS in Kempsey have been handed a boost with the news cash from housing developers will be used to subsidise the village’s off-peak bus services.
Astons Coach chiefs confirmed the firm would run daytime services, funded by contributions made from the housing developments in the fast-growing village.
The move brings to an end the uncertainty about daytime off-peak services in the village after First Bus revealed it was removing its offering from this week due to a ‘lack of demand’.
Malvern’s MP Harriett Baldwin intervened in the row and called on Worcestershire County Council to act urgently to preserve the important transport link.
“The bus service changes are having impacts across the county but the one which caused most concern was the daytime service through Kempsey,” she said.
“My concerns were confirmed by a number of local groups getting in touch and I immediately raised my concerns with the county transport team.
“I am glad they have been able to identify funding from the large-scale housing developments in the village to pay for this important public transport.
“In my opinion, this is exactly what such developer funding should be doing and I was pleased to secure this action so quickly,” she added.
Despite the good news, Mrs Baldwin urged First Bus bosses to re-examine their service reductions and has spoken ‘at length’ to bosses to understand why they are making such changes.
“In the meantime, I urge the county to work with First Bus and other operators to ensure that we get the right services for local people,” she said.
The West Worcestershire MP has also welcomed the introduction of a new service for residents living around Malvern Vale operated by Community Action, which will help people get around Malvern during the day-time.
“I am pleased to see the introduction of new services such as the new ‘Dyson-Linker’ service which will help people – especially the elderly – to make planned trips such as shopping or GP appointments,” she said.
“But the recent news about First Bus service reductions is a clear sign the county needs to ensure it is using all of its powers to make sure there is proper competition for services,” she added.