A DECISION by Diamond Bus to increase its fares and scrap discounts for the elderly and disabled has been slammed by readers of the Redditch Advertiser with many questioning the state of vehicles and the competency of drivers.

The Advertiser recently reported that the much-maligned company increased prices while discounted morning rates for the elderly and disabled have been cut on some services altogether.

The company said the move was is in response to 'increasing operational and employment costs and reducing local authority subsidies'.

On the Advertiser Facebook page Ilona Prewitt said: "That means it will cost me £60 a month for two of mine to travel on busses that don't arrive, are late and can be driven by rude drivers! Thanks Diamond. About time they looked into their services and provided a reliable one."

Donna Bird said: "Looking at the state of most of these buses they should be paying you danger money to actually get on them."

Nigel Joyce said: "Hopefully this will go towards replacing some of the dilapidated rolling stock, and perhaps improved driver training as well."

Julie Dawson said: "Just like the trains, up the fares rarely any seats left, so why should you pay extra for standing up on your journey."

James Aldridge said: "As long as there's no competition, they will continue to do as they please and get away with it. Over priced, unreliable and extremely poor service."

Ant Stokes said: "Maybe they should change their name to Coal. They are light years away from anything resembling a diamond!"

Melissa Louise said: "Hopefully the extra money will go towards the buses being on time."

Clair Millham said: "A hike of £11 on a monthly bus ticket? For a poor service. Where do they get that figure from? Absolutely ridiculous."

The fare rises mean adults in Redditch will now pay £2.80 for a day ticket, £13 for a week, and £38 for a monthly pass.

A children's day ticket will cost £2.50, while a weekly pass will be £12.

A family day pass will cost £8.50.

Meanwhile 'Twirlybird' tickets, which offer a concessionary price for senior and disabled travellers before 9.30am, will no longer be available on routes including the 42/43 from Redditch and Bromsgrove to Kidderminster, the 146 from Redditch to Birmingham, and the 182/183 from Redditch to Bromsgrove.