LEOMINSTER councillors have raised concerns over ‘rushed’ changes to local bus services.

The frequency of internal services in the town will be reduced from September 2.

Councillors fear the timetable changes will hurt the most vulnerable.

“The changes don’t help to reduce traffic. Fewer services will lead to fewer users,” Councillor Jenny Bartlett said.

“But these changes always hurt the most vulnerable and there are many residents who rely on these services to get around.”

Fellow county councillor John Stone said he felt the decision was at odds with the climate emergency declared by Herefordshire Council.

“With previous announcements of changes to bus services there have been consultations leading up to any changes so that residents can give their views on them. This time it seems a rather rushed decision.”

He hoped the changes could be put on hold for a rethink.

A council spokesman encouraged residents to check the new timetables.

“Operating bus services can be very expensive, and it is important to the council and to operators that the services provided reflect passenger demand,” he said.

He said they explored a variety of options in an effort to retain the subsidised services at current levels but this was not affordable within the available budget.

The county council is working with bus firms and the town council to ensure a reliable and affordable service, he added.

The 401 and 406 Barons Cross circulars will operate as the 404 which will run as an hourly service along the same route.

Both the 402 to Ridgemoor and The Meadows and the 403 to Southern Avenue and Newlands will be every two hours.

The 490 to Ludlow will see the off peak short working journeys between Leominster and Orleton withdrawn.

The 496 to Pembridge and Shobdon morning and afternoon schooldays only circular will be withdrawn due to low usage. The entitled riders will be transferred to a taxi contract.