Under threat bus service saved from axe

PEOPLE living in Halesmere are not going to lose their under threat bus service after transport authority Centro and Worcestershire County Council worked together to save it.

Residents on the Halesowen estate got their first ever bus service in April after Centro agreed to use taxpayers’ money to extend the route of the 007 to give Halesmere better transport links.

The six month trial of the new service came after residents, councillors, Help the Aged and the West Midlands Pensioners Convention campaigned for buses to come on to the estate to make life easier for the older people living in Halesmere.

However, the future of the residents’ new service came under threat last month after the Diamond Bus Company announced plans to withdraw the 007 service on July 19.

It meant there would be no service to divert on to the estate causing the minimum six month trial of the bus service to be cut short.

Now Centro and Worcestershire County Council have worked together to find a way to keep the service going.

From Monday July 20, the 007 will be operated by Midland Rider but will only operate between Halesowen and Bromsgrove. It will continue to serve the villages of Hunnington, Romsley and Catshill.

Worcestershire County Councillor Ed Moore, who covers Romsley, welcomed the move saying: "There were some concerns in Romsely about it being stopped - I'm pleased it won't be and hope the new service will be more successful than the last one."

A Worcestershire County Council Spokesman said: "We are committed to offering people a range of public transport options and we've taken the decision to subsidise the 007 service so it can continue serving the area.

"We will review the situation on an on-going basis and the future of the subsidy will depend on the number of passengers using the service."

The service will operate Monday to Saturday between around 8am and 6pm.

Full details can be found at the website www.midlandrider.co.uk or by phoning 07912 848728 or emailing midlandrider@btconnect.com.

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