TENBURY is more fortunate than many rural areas when it comes to public transport.

As a result of the work of the Tenbury Transport Trust a service is available to people who do not have access to a car of their own.

But the future of the service will be dependent upon a legal case that will be determined in the coming year.

This point has been made by Ken Pollock, who represents Tenbury on Worcestershire County Council where he also holds an economic development portfolio.

“In Tenbury, we are well aware of the importance of the Tenbury Transport Trust in providing services to isolated residents, albeit for a pre-booked service,” said Mr Pollock in a report to Tenbury Town Council.

“We are also aware that a recent court case has put in jeopardy services using volunteer drivers, and we are hopeful that legislation will clarify the position and ensure the continuance of this service.”

Mr Pollock also told town councillors about the results of the work of a task force that has been looking at the future of bus services in Worcestershire.

“The chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Board, Christopher, Bloore, presented the results of the recent task group he chaired on the future of bus services in the county,” said Mr Pollock.

A key priority is helping the deal with the issue of rural isolation.

Mr Pollock said that the County Council is looking to cut £800,000 from its £22 million buses budget but scope is limited as the authority has statutory responsibility to provide services to get children to school, especially those youngsters with special educational needs.

“The group had concluded we should do more to promote and support bus services, partly because of isolation for those who do not have access to cars or other forms of transport,” added Mr Pollock.

“Partly also, they pointed out the health benefits of walking and cycling.

“The Cabinet accepted in the most part the useful conclusions and recommendations of the report, while recognising the limitations of what the County can do in helping the private contractors providing bus services.

“We have a transport budget that runs to some £22 million pounds a year and we are looking for ways of trimming some £800,000 off that budget.

“Much of that money is spent on the statutory provision of home to school transport, particularly for SEND pupils, as well as the concessionary fares scheme.”

Tenbury Transport Trust provides bus services with a small fleet of mini buses offering services to local towns and serving villages.

Unlike traditional bus services, passengers have to book in advance and cannot be collected from bus stops. The buses are driven by trained volunteers.

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