SEVEN Redditch bus routes at risk of the chop, have been saved thanks to ‘significant funding’ from the county council.

In June, bus operator Diamond Bus confirmed that services in Redditch may be withdrawn as they were running at a ‘considerable loss’.

Now, following a review period, the services have been saved after an agreement with Worcestershire County Council.

A package of measures has been agreed which includes funding from the county council, changes to services during times when they are not widely used and a review of bus fares.

A spokesperson for Diamond Bus said there will be some fare increases which is “not welcome news” but is a “necessary change in order to continue providing the area with a network of key services.”

“Our Worcestershire fares are amongst the lowest in the country, and, even with the increases planned for September, we believe our fares will still fall below the recommended national capped fare rate,” added the spokesperson.

Bob Baker, Diamond Bus managing director said: “We are hugely grateful for the additional funding that the council has been able to offer as an emergency measure.

“We are committed to providing Worcestershire with the robust bus network it needs to support a growing community, but services need to become viable commercially in the long term and to do this we need a significant growth in passengers travelling by bus.”

Redditch Advertiser: Diamond Bus,Diamond Bus, (Image: Diamond Bus.)

The 11 from Redditch to Washford Mill and the 12 from Redditch to Astwood Bank will continue to operate its current timetable Monday to Friday with some revisions to weekend times.

The 52 from Redditch to Kidderminster and the 52A from the Alexandra Hospital to the Princess of Wales Hospital will continue with some timetable changes.

Another service saved is the number 62 which is the Redditch Circular.

Finally, the 67 which runs from Redditch to Studley will be withdrawn but is set to be replaced with a re-routed 247 and a revised timetable.

The 247 which runs from Redditch to Evesham will be rerouted between Redditch Bus Station and Alexandra Hospital via the current 67 route.

The changes are set to come into place from August 28.

Councillor Simon Geraghty, Worcestershire County Council leader, said: “As we continue on our road to recovery from the Covid pandemic and the effect it has had on our county as a whole, and the use of public transport, in particular, I am really pleased that agreement has been reached on sustaining our enhanced contribution towards bus services for the academic year.

“It’s really important we support the availability of services for the people of Worcestershire.”

Councillor Mike Rouse, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “We have worked closely with bus operators in the past few months to come up with a solution that benefits the residents of Worcestershire.

“Of course, work continues to continuously review, enhance and secure the future of bus services as part of our commitment to improving all forms of transport so we encourage positive, modal choices.”

The agreement with the council ensures that the current services will continue until at least the end of March 2023.