Harriett Baldwin has welcomed confirmation that Malvern’s main bus service operator is looking to improve services following a meeting.

The West Worcestershire MP met with First Bus managing director Doug Claringbold to talk about the company’s plan to improve local services.

Mrs Baldwin shared concern about the recent decline of routes including the important 42 route as well as asking for later buses on the 44 route.

Last month, the MP helped to launch an on-demand bus service operated by Worcestershire County Council and earlier in the year she gathered local stakeholders to hear expert views on the state of bus service provision across her West Worcestershire constituency.

The Department for Transport has confirmed that a bus fare cap will be extended into next year with many fares costing £2.50.

“I asked for a meeting with Doug Claringbold to hear his plans and I am cautiously optimistic that he, like me, wants to see more services offered to local people,” Mrs Baldwin said.

“We talked about the recent shrinking of the 44 route and I gave feedback from constituents that they would like to see Malvern’s 42 route back in operation.

“First Bus is clearly looking for extra subsidies to bring back routes, but I am hoping that better marketing of their services and the Government fare capping scheme will encourage more people to use the bus more.

“West Worcestershire is a largely rural constituency and I am keen to see the county council work with all of the bus providers to make sure that there is good coverage accessible for local people, which I hope in turn will see more people opt for buses to get around.”

READ MORE: Malvern 'on-demand' bus service launches following Bromsgrove trial

Malvern’s Demand Responsive Transport (DRT) service, which works to demand rather than by sticking to a fixed route and timetable, is the second to be launched in Worcestershire following a pilot scheme in Bromsgrove.

There are two DRT buses in the town, operated by Malvern Community Action and LMS Travel.

Councillor Mike Rouse, cabinet member with responsibility for highways and transport at Worcestershire County Council said he was confident the buses would be well used in Malvern.