Sunday, 12 October 2014

Council check: Worcestershire County Council

Each Sunday, we look at how well one of our local transport authorities makes it easy to find out about bus services on its patch. This week, it's the turn of Worcestershire County Council.

Where do the buses go?

Not good enough. The council was aware of these route changes at least 2 months before they were implemented and therefore chose not to have the maps ready in time. There is a list of all bus routes in the county here, but that's not much help if you're a tourist or are new to the area and would rather have the overview that a map provides. 2 out of 5.


Timetables for all routes in the county can be found here. 5 out of 5.


An overview of available ticket types is here, however you can't find out the price for a specific journey. There are a range of multi-operator tickets, called Connecta, which cover Worcester, Kidderminster, Redditch or the entire county.
Plusbus is mentioned, which is available in Worcester, Kidderminster, Bromsgrove, Redditch and Great Malvern. 3 out of 5.


A map is needed, but at least we have easy access to a list of routes and their timetables. Good promotion of a multi-operator ticket, but as always, people will be put off by the lack of information about single and return fares. Worcestershire County Council scores a total of 10 out of 15.


  1. I visited the area at short notice a few years ago - so had no chance to check on bus service provision etc beforehand. There was also no internet access where I was staying. I reasoned however that as Redditch was the initial base and it had a 'state of the art' bus-way and newish bus station that this surely wouldn't be a problem. How wrong could I be!

    Arriving late Friday afternoon I found the bus station. Information was available if I wanted to copy it down from a bus stop display but no apparent source of anything printed (the following day I found three - useless to me - leaflets in an adjacent newspaper shop). The library had nothing and didn't know where to direct me. The TIC - part of a theatre - was closed for the next three days.

    The next port of call was Droitwich. They thought they had some bus maps somewhere and after a struggle found the local one - the timetables were only for Kidderminster and out of date.

    So on to Worcester. A tourist and transport centre, this won't be a problem - surely!!!! An even bigger bus station but nowhere where you can talk to anyone etc. There were some racks at one end with a good number of leaflets and booklets - but far from comprehensive. The TIC were clearly fed up with dealing with bus enquiries and having to say that items were out of stock and they couldn't get them.

    The final visit was to Malvern another tourist hot spot. Nothing in the library . The TIC would let you have one or two timetables printed off on demand but as so often occurs you needed to know exactly what you wanted - and don't ask for more.

    The really frustrating thing was that at that time WCC proudly proclaimed its own series of bus maps - which were supposed to be available.

    I don't just blame WCC - why didn't First believe in making information more easily available.

    From what I hear the situation is no better now (but willing to be proved wrong).

  2. Worcestershire County Council has long had an appalling attitude to bus travel. It is impossible to make the council understand that many bus users find printed timetables far more helpful than online timetables. Not everyone has a smartphone for online access when out and about. Besides, it is far easier to check out all the options when you can flick through a timetable book. Until 1994, when the former Hereford and Worcester County Council was still in place, it produced first-class timetable booklets covering every route in the two counties. When the divorce came in 1994 Worcs County Council stopped producing timetables, though Herefordshire Council continues to do so, and its booklet is a model of its kind. I believe one reason for the low usage of many rural services in Worcs is the lack of easily available information.


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