When Diamond Buses first announced that they would be running an additional service between Kidderminster and Stourbridge my initial reaction was – good, perhaps we will now have a 30 minute service. No such luck!
Timetabling the service to run 10 minutes prior to the existing 125 service does nothing to enhance the service and is of no benefit to passengers. All it does is poach the passengers from the 125. This could have a detrimental effect on the 125 service which is long established and also runs onwards to Bridgenorth via Highley.
This is an example of bus services being run to suit the bus companies, not the travelling public. A consequence of having an unregulated bus service.
It was my understanding that local Transport Authorities have a responsibility to encourage the use of public transport in their area so that people get out of their cars to reduce congestion and carbon dioxide emissions. Something which a genuine 30 minute service between Kidderminster and Stourbridge would do. The travelling time whether by car or bus is similar and if you go by bus there are no worries about parking!
The question one needs to ask is – what involvement, if any, has there been with the Transport Authorities? I suspect little. So come on Worcestershire and Centro – negotiate with the bus companies to get a 30 minute service on this route.
So what about the future of bus services? Local Transport authorities can and should be doing more to regulate the bus services so that they genuinely meet the needs of the community. All it needs is the political will. Transport for London has complete control over public transport in Greater London, with the bus companies contracting for the routes at a fixed price. There is no reason why this model could not work in other parts of the country.