THE county council will be asked to explain why it allowed buses to stop dropping off passengers outside the main entrance to the city’s hospital, forcing vulnerable and disabled visitors to walk uphill.

Councillor Paul Denham, who represents Rainbow Hill in the city, will ask Cllr Alan Amos, the county council’s cabinet member for highways, why the council allowed First Bus to stop dropping passengers off at the hospital’s main entrance when Worcestershire County Council meets in full for the first time this year next Thursday (January 16).

On January 5, First Bus altered where its 36 bus service, which runs between the city, Warndon and the hospital, and its 38 service, which runs between the city, Ronkswood and the hospital, stops when it arrives at the hospital meaning passengers have to get off next to the hospital’s children’s ward instead of at the main entrance.

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The question to be discussed at next week’s full council meeting said: “First Bus have changed the routes of services 36 and 38 so that they no longer stop close to the main entrance to Worcestershire Royal Hospital.

“First Bus said that county council officers were consulted and supported this decision, despite the obvious impact on passengers with limited mobility and other disabilities.

“Does the cabinet member support this decision, especially given the fact that service 36 is subsidised, and why was the county equalities officer not consulted, since we have a duty to take into account the needs of disabled residents? Why were members not consulted prior to this decision?”

First Bus said not using the main entrance bus stop would cut down on congestion outside the hospital.

On its website First Bus said: “The terminus has changed at the hospital and it will now be the A&E unit stop - this means that buses will wait any extra time at this stop before continuing around the hospital site.

“The main entrance stop will no longer be served - please use the stop at the children’s department (the walking distance from the main entrance is very similar)."