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‘Bus passengers are losing faith’
8:00am Friday 18th January 2013 in News
PASSENGERS are losing confidence in a village bus service after a series of breakdowns and problems with timekeeping.
The village hopper service runs between Pershore and Evesham stopping at a number of villages along the way.
The service was introduced by Worcestershire County Council in September 2011 to bring together a number of bus routes and school services that were no longer sustainable.
But Pershore town councillor Julian Palfrey said there were many problems.
He said: “Passengers are losing confidence in the service. We have so many problems. There have been so many breakdowns, compromises of safety and hopeless timekeeping.”
A recent accident involving the service took place last September.
Six elderly people were rescued from the crash involving the Village Hopper bus and a van at Hinton-on-the-Green, although no one was injured.
Coun Val Wood added: “There is no information on the buses.
It would be good to have timetables on them.”
The service is contracted to Worcester bus company LMS Travel by Worcestershire County Council.
A spokesperson for the company said: “There is no evidence of a high level of breakdowns, and we are required to report all such incidents to the county council under the terms of our contract. We have an excellent relationship with our passengers, and passengers numbers have significantly increased since the contract first began."
Chris Holloway, Worcestershire County Council’s transport planning and review officer, said: “We are currently reviewing the Village Hopper service. Feedback we have received so far has been positive about the service, the operator and the drivers.
“We are not aware of a high number of breakdowns being reported to us, but if residents could log the dates and times issues occur and forward them to the county council we will look into it.
“We are working in collaboration with all the parish councils through which the service operates to prepare for the changes to the service, and we intend to work with them to provide local information through the parishes themselves to local residents.”