Bus passengers in Worcestershire are making almost five million fewer journeys than they did seven years ago. There were 11.3 million bus journeys in 2016/17 – 4.8 million fewer than in 2009/10.
Managing director Nigel Eggleton said: “The two decisions that have had the most impact on Worcestershire’s bus network is the withdrawal of the Worcester Park and Ride service and the removal of government funding used by Worcestershire County Council to support local bus services, especially for evening and weekend journeys that would not otherwise be commercially viable.”
The average number of journeys taken by each person in Worcestershire dropped from 29 in 2009/10 to 19 in 2016/17. The number of concessionary journeys taken by elderly and disabled passengers also decreased by 27 per cent.
County councillor Matthew Jenkins agreed that cuts had plagued the county’s bus service and despite the drop being a national issue, he said the problem has been far worse in Worcestershire.
Councillor Jenkins said: “It is not looking good. I know funds are tight but the whole bus service needs a thorough overhaul. We have big problems with congestion in Worcestershire. Buses are expensive and infrequent and the buses are no longer a public service, it is a business run for profit. A better funded bus service would mean less cars on the road which means less congestion.”