URGENT public meetings have been called to give passengers a chance to have their say on an “outrageous”
threat to bus services.
Malvern town councillor Martin Lawrence is holding two meetings in the town on Wednesday to ensure people understand the implications of proposals to axe public funding for buses and know how they can give their views.
Concerned councillor Tom Wells has called meetings in village halls across his Powick division to give people the same opportunity.
Worcestershire County Council is considering scrapping a £3 million taxpayers’ subsidy for public transport as it explores ways to save £98 million by 2017.
A total of 88 services are currently subsidised, including the 41-43 and 362-364 services that carry more than 330,000 people a year between Upton, Malvern and Worcester.
The Malvern meetings are at the Octagon Community Centre, Brook Farm Drive, Poolbrook, at 1pm and 7pm.
Coun Lawrence said: “There are a lot of people, particularly older people, who haven’t got the internet and who can’t fill in the consultation forms online. The meetings are a last-minute opportunity for residents to say what they really think, and for politicians to prove that they are listening.”
Coun Wells, a long-serving member of the county council, is campaigning against the plans.
He said it is “outrageous”
that the council could even consider withdrawing the cash.
“They are a vital lifeline for people and I want to do everything I can to ensure that my residents’ voices are heard loud and clear,” he said.
Meetings have taken place in Hanley Swan Village Hall – where more than 100 people attended – and Callow End Village Hall this week.
A third and final meeting will take place in Welland Village Hall at 7pm on Monday.
As well as explaining the situation, Coun Wells will be attending the meetings well armed with consultation response forms and ensuring people know how to properly fill them in.
He said he will deliver all the responses completed at the meetings personally to County Hall before the consultation closes on Friday, January 17.
Coun John Smith, county cabinet member for highways, has warned that “tough decisions will have to be made”. But he said no final decisions have been made and has urged people to have their say during the consultation.
The consultation can also be completed online at worcestershire.gov.uk/bus servicereview.