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Fears over loss of 30 bus routes

Malvern Editorial 15th Jan, 2014 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016

THE LOSS of nearly 30 bus routes in Malvern would be ‘devastating’ to communities the district council leader has declared.

Coun David Hughes has written to Worcestershire County Council expressing ‘grave concerns’ over its possible decision to remove the £3million a year spent subsidising services across the county.

He said he understood the ‘tough’ decisions which needed to be made to meet funding reductions but implored the county council to explore alternative ways to find savings.

The leader added the move would be particularly negative for Upton upon Severn with routes from the town to Malvern and Worcester all at risk.

“Malvern Hills District Council is concerned about the impact this will have on the health and well-being of local communities and individuals who rely on these buses to access key services such as schools, health agencies, shops and other public services which require personal contact,” he said.

“For many vulnerable residents there simply is no alternative.

“These services are vital to avoid the social isolation that comes with living in rural areas in this county.

“If these subsidies are removed completely this will have a devastating effect on our residents and their towns, villages, businesses and schools.”

Coun Hughes added the district council would work with the county council and communities to minimise any adverse impacts of the proposed reductions.

The county council has issue numerous appeals for members of the public to take part in the consultation which ends on Friday (January 17).

Town councillor Martin Lawrence has invited Malvern county representatives including cabinet member Lucy Hodgson, to attend to a pair of public discussions taking place today (Wednesday).

The meetings which will be held at the Octagon on Brook Farm Drive in Poolbrook will commence at 1pm and 7pm.

The county council points out 80 per cent of bus services are currently run by commercial operators and savings are necessary as the authority needs to trim more than £100million from its budget by 2017 as a result of government funding cuts.

Visit www.worcestershire.gov.uk/busservicereview to take part in the consultation.

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