PENSIONERS are furious that they have to walk over a quarter of a mile to catch the bus after a route change.

The First 373 bus used to detour through Green Lane, in Naunton, and ferry residents to Upton in one direction and Tewkesbury in the other.

But after the service was replaced with the First 363 in April residents have been forced to walk a quarter of a mile and cross a busy road to catch the bus to Upton.

They have to walk a further 500 yards and wait at a grass verge to get the bus to Tewkesbury.

Trish Payne, aged 85, who lives in Green Lane, said: "We are elderly people who cannot drive. My neighbours are in their 70s and 80s.

"I can't drive now through macular degeneration.

"We have to walk just over a quarter of a mile to the A38 to get the bus.

"It's an accident waiting to happen for people to cross the A38 to go to Upton. Its a very busy road.

"I want it to come round our lane to pick us older people up like it used to be.

"It's taking our independence away. My husband takes my neighbours to the dentist and doctors.

"Although my husband, who is 83, can drive at the moment and we help out, there will come a day when he's not here."

The resident said her neighbours would pay for the extra petrol to get the bus to pick them up in Naunton.

She said the community bus service is only available on Friday and that they want a direct service at least twice a week.

The 363 goes from Upton to Tewkesbury every two hours via the A38 whereas the 373 used to directly serve the village.

John Payne, Mrs Payne's husband, said: "The point is they are subsidising this community bus but why was the bus taken away in the first place.

"They are not saving much fuel by going straight down and not through the detour. It used to go through Strensham Road."

Sarah East, the general manager for First Worcester said: “The 363 route has been in place in its present format for almost 12 months and until now we have not received any negative feedback from customers about the service.

"We have no immediate plans to serve Green Lane in Naunton, as when the 373 service was in operation, demand was very low with only a handful of passengers using the service.”   

If residents want to get to the official bus stop they have to walk 1.8 miles to The Blue Bell Inn, in Bluebell Close, Upton.