E is for Evesham

Sunday 13th March 2022

Evesham is the smallest town I’ve visited so far in my fortnightly A to Z exploration of the state of public transport in small to mid size towns. It’s got a population around 26,000 so is about half the size of Andover and Durham and a third the size of Bracknell and Carlisle.

It’s a very typical English market town in the Wychavon district of Worcestershire located south east of Worcester, south west of Stratford upon Avon, north-west of Moreton-in-Marsh, and north-east of Tewkesbury – all roughly around 12 or so miles away – with Redditch a bit further away to its north and Cheltenham to its south.

The town sits on the River Avon and just like Durham, does a full blown meander creating a peninsular effect for the original town. Bengeworth and Hampton on the southern side of the river to the east and west respectively were once separate villages but are now very much part of the town.

The south-east to north-west, Oxford to Worcester A44, crosses the south-west to north-east Tewkesbury to Coventry A46 in Evesham although the A46 was diverted to form a by-pass creating a new eastern boundary for the town in 1987.

Evesham sits on GWR’s delightful Cotswold railway line between Honeybourne and Pershore with trains continuing west to Worcester and Great Malvern with some extending on to Hereford with Oxford, Reading and Paddington served to the east.

An hourly service is provided but as I found on the day of my visit last month the line can experience unreliability due to single track sections at either end (east of Charlbury and west of Pershore) although there used to be significantly more single track sections in years gone by.

Evesham’s station is a rather quaint traditional affair with a dedicated team who obviously take pride in the station’s appearance and the displays of information.

I detected a rail enthusiast is probably on the team.

The Cotswold Line has a Promotion Group. Formed in 1978, its aim is safeguarding and promoting improvements to rail and bus feeder services along the Oxford-Worcester-Hereford railway line.

The line had been at risk for some time and the group has successfully worked to increase the number of passengers. Membership is around an impressive 2,000.

The station is located at the northern end of High Street – opposite a very traditional looking Railway Hotel ….

…. and about a five minute walk to the town centre. Stagecoach’s hourly route X18, Diamond’s hourly route 247 and some other routes pass by the end of the short approach road to the station building.

There’s a bus stop on either side of High Street here but it’s a shame the southbound stop towards the town centre doesn’t have a shelter although both stops have a list of bus departures.

Evesham’s ‘bus station’ as its referred to in bus timetables is a misnomer. It’s a collection of three bus stops with shelters marked from north to south: C, B and A in the southbound direction and two on the opposite side of the road marked D and E heading north.

I’ve seen better bus stop displays on my travels, but I’ve also seen worse.

They do show a lack of attention to detail …

… and are in need of some tender loving care.

Timetable information for services from stop C isn’t displayed in the large case inside the shelter (as it is for stops A and B) but is shown in a timetable case on the bus stop pole while at stop A there’s a separate pole showing a timetable and a flag promoting First Bus route X50 to Worcester.

Except it doesn’t mention the ‘X’ but “The 50s” instead …

… perhaps referring to a branding that’s since been discontinued?

Other flags are rather grubby and could do with a clean up or even replacing.

I don’t think the number 18 is used any longer.

There’s a real time departure display board behind bus stop C which lists departures for all the five bus stops, which is handy if you know that it’s there.

Annoyingly every so often the display switches to a public health message which is frustrating if you’ve just arrived at that moment to check your next bus departure time.

Evesham is the first town I’ve visited in this A to Z series where I’ve not been able to find a bus map online, and certainly not in print. Worcestershire County Council is one of those counties which only provides a link to Traveline and listings of routes and bus operators with links to their websites where available, but little else.

I was intrigued to see the County’s Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP) running to 211 pages mentions one priority is to develop a consistent branding for bus services across the county but frankly I think it would be better to devote time, effort and finance into providing helpful information like maps and bus timetables both online and in printed form than playing around with a brand name to stick on the side of buses and at bus stops.

From Worcestershire’s BSIP

As it is bus shelters are fly posted with notices calling public meetings months ago about social issues as well as graffiti. Let’s get those things dealt with before worrying about a fancy new brand name.

In the absence of a bus map showing all the routes in Evesham I had to spend a few hours doing my own research to find out what goes where. Brendan Fox’s brilliant Bus Atlas UK website was a great help showing the main inter-urban bus routes serving Evesham.

As you can see these comprise the First Bus hourly route X50 to Pershore and Worcester…

… which just to flummox Evesham locals included a bus wearing a Leicester Corporation heritage livery marking the 90th anniversary of motor buses in Leicester in 2014; well, why not?

Then there’s the Diamond operated hourly route 247 to Redditch ….

… which just to flummox Evesham locals came complete with outdated and contradictory notices which would entail you missing the bus if you stopped to read them all.

Thirdly there’s Stagecoach hourly route X18 to Stratford-upon-Avon (after which it continues to Coventry) …

… which just to flummox Evesham’s locals included a poster on the bus stop from where it departs advising of minor changes to routes in far away Warwick and Leamington Spa introduced five months ago.

Two other routes shown on Brendan’s map include – LMS Travel operated route 564 to either Inkberrow or Flyford Flavell and shown as a Village Hopper …

… which just to flummox Evesham locals has seven route variations denoted by 564, 564A, 564B, 564C, 564D, 565 and 565C on its infrequent rural wanderings as depicted on this very straight forward timetable (!).

And finally from the map there’s Astons hourly route 540 to Tewkesbury.

Aside from LMS Travel and Astons, Evesham sees other small bus and coach companies running into the town with rural routes.

These N N Cresswell Coach Hire Ltd’s route R4, which just to flummox Evesham locals could be operated by Worthing based Compass Bus….

… running five journey a day (plus school journeys) to Willersey with a timetable that rather helpfully advises it is “to be read DOWN” showing the 30 minute journey time to BROADWAY.

And there’s route 552 operated by Henshaw’s Coaches with a 30 minute journey time to Long Lartin.

You may have noticed so far I’ve not mentioned any local route serving Evesham itself. Some of the aforementioned inter-urban and rural routes enter and leave the town via the residential area of Bengeworth as well as serving an adjacent retail area to the south of the town including a large Morrisons and an Aldi and the usual warehouse style outlets for B&Q/Carpetright/Currys/Pets at Home/Halfords/McDonalds/KFC etc etc.

I took a ride on Stagecoach route X18 which arrives from Coventry and Stratford-upon-Avon at Evesham ‘bus station’ and then continues on a southern circuit to serve this area known as Four Pools before returning via the Bengeworth residential area back to the ‘bus station’ to head north again to Stratford-upon-Avon and Coventry. The circuit takes 30 minutes.

Diamond’s route 247 approaches Evesham from the east having served the community of Badsey, and also serves Bengeworth and Four Pools.

But, there is one route which could be regarded as a town service, and that’s route 582 which serves both Bengeworth and Hampton on a 50 minute kind of circular route between 09:00 and 15:45 as well as one short trip at 07:50, presumably all fitted around school journeys. The day I visited N N Creswell, which runs the service, was using its rather colourful liveried Optare Versa on the route.

Sadly there weren’t many passengers on the buses I saw during my visit although you can probably see from the photographs it was a very wet day. The busiest routes were First Bus route X50 and Diamond route 247 but buses only brought in and left with single figures on board.

Passengers seen were mainly concessionary pass holders.

I didn’t really see a compelling reason to travel by bus. There was no quality feel about the service on offer. It all appeared rather down-at-heel, as though it was on its last legs.

Sadly the Riverside shopping centre which seems to be mired in controversy between the Council and its owners looked even more sorry for itself than the buses.

There are so many empty units the whole place seems like a ghost shopping mall.

Which is a great shame as in the town itself some of the historic buildings are amazing. I’ve never seen a NatWest bank in such an unusual setting, although ominously it’s surrounded by barriers.

I’m sure Evesham looks much better on a lovely sunny day. It needs to.

Roger French

Previous AtoZ blogs: Andover; Bracknell; Carlisle; Durham.

Blogging timetable: 06:00 TThSSu

Next blog, Tuesday 15th March 2022: The cost of a rail ticket refund

49 thoughts on “E is for Evesham

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  1. If you ever reach visit Stockport, there’s a comparable NatWest branch in that town based in a Tudor hall. Spectular to look at outside, and incredible to see a bank operating within.

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  2. There was a useful Tuesday only shoppers route from Moreton-in-March, but I see that it has gone. It was fairly well used on my visit not many years ago. Evesham does seem to have some useful routes still. If you visit Fleet, with its 43,000 population, you will find a much worse situation, with only two routes hanging on and another to Reading “suspended”.

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    1. I have never visited Fleet so I tried to find information online o the bus services and it is just a mess but that pretty normal for most places in England. The Reading Bus service you mention appears to be suspended. There is no real compressive information on the bus service and the services themselves seem to be very poor for a town of that size but again that’s normal in England and many of the services seem to be on there last legs and others are just very limited Community bus service that you have to pre register to use and appear to be targeted at the elderly and disabled

      Is anyone going to give up using a car to use the very limited bus service in Fleet that you cannot even easily find information on? The answer is a very clear No

      Are the bus companies going to change and improve? Their track record suggests No

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  3. Evesham is family typical of small to mid size towns in England. They have run down and neglected bus services with a could not care a less attitude by the bus companies and local councils. Dirty and run don bus stops and bus shelters well that’s if they even bother with bust shelters. Dirty and scruffy notices randomly posted on bus shelters. Missing and or out of date timetable information and you have to wander around to try to find what bus leaves from what bus stop

    No compressive information so no map of the town and location of stops and what route they serve. No easy way to even tell if the buses connect with the trains. You would have to do battle with several bus company web sites and spend an hour or so to try to wok it out. The rail company web sites are no better. Most seem to think timetables are classified information and you have to search hard to find them

    The traveline Website lists247,51,549,552, 553 564 A B C D 565 565A 682 H5, X18 X50. Whether this all still run and to the timetables shown who knows ? No mention of an R4. Inconsistent and incomplete and inaccurate information though is a common problem

    Many of the routes appear to be random with some operating in one direction only and using the same router number for totally different routes

    Other nonsenses are you pull up the timetable and in large letters it states Monday to Friday. Then on close examinations you find in a tine font a note number which says Tue & Thur only

    It is typical of the mess in most small and mid size towns in England. Instability of the services is another problem , Services come and go at the drop of a hat

    Is this sort of scruffy mess going to attract new passengers. The simple answer is no. They are not even managing to retain the existing passengers. Higher fares for an ever worse service does not help neither

    The service as well automatically exclude most people as they do not start early enough or run later enough nor are they frequent enough

    The Bus Back Better Strategy sounded good but there is no overall strategy with it being left to Local LTA’s who vary considerably with most of them not being very good

    The real problem as well is funding. What is said to be the last tranch of Covid Support funding came with talk of reducing service levels yet the Bus Back Better states the opposite. There is as well no clarity of how much if any funding LTA’s will get so that yet another mess

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  4. Good points as ever Roger and yes timetable publicity and signage is just a joke in Worcestershire aside from Diamond Bus & Midland Red Wests own which is pretty good. Everything in Evesham bar the X18 used to be run by Midland Red West from its garage by the side of the river and that’s what everyone goes to Evesham for not the town. Since Woolworths has closed the town like many others has declined but the River side is beautiful. Car usership is very high there is a simply no desire for anything more than what is provided while Worcestershire County Council couldn’t care less about buses. Midland Red West still serve the town from Worcester & Diamond Bus from Redditch but both operators have basically given up on the town as a lost cause and who can blame them but the local independents do thier best. Frankly Evesham get the bus service it deserves nothing more , nothing less however it does have All Operators Ticket Acceptance for the Connectacard which is something anyway .

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    1. Evesham deserves better bus service. If you had a supermarket that was covered in scruffy and dirty signs and notices and half the goods were not priced and the other had the wrong prices and the staff could not care a less whether they served the customer would you use that supermarket ?

      The competition buses face are cars, taxis and home shopping, The bus companies are not offering the service, quality or fares that people rightly expect so bus companies just continue to loose custom

      They are now just left with school children and concessionary pass holders Councils are now looking at alternatives to buses for school travel as the bus companies are no pricing themselves out of that market

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      1. It would be interesting to us all for you to explain exactly how Evesham could have better bus services,who would fund Them, who would provide them, who would operate them & who would use them?

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    1. I used the 540 service from Pershore to Evesham, and the x18 to Stratford last Wednesday. I found the information on connections and departure / arrival locations very poor snd confusing snd had to do my own research on my phone. Overall, the bus stops, shelters and town generally
      felt very tatty and run down. Also, impossible to ascertain the route the buses would take.

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      1. I fully agree Tony Worcestershire County Council leave a lot to be desired with its infrastructure you only have to look at adjoining bus stops on the 192 Lurley Stop in Worcestershire has a classic Midland Red concrete post with the flag hanging off it the next stop at The Foxhunt has a TfWM Shelter, cleaned regularly with up to date timetable information with other publicity information together with s TfWM Flag showing all services. The difference in 400 yards is just breathtaking.

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  5. Roger, your experience of Evesham is sadly typical of the Worcestershire bus scene (and other counties) and the operators concerned. However, this isn’t a recent decline that can be blamed on Covid or even the local authority cuts post 2010. Even when Midland Red West maintained a depot in the town, long since closed by First and redeveloped, the services were fairly sparse with the two main routes being those to Worcester and Redditch. MRW (later First) did have a few other bits and bobs whilst Cresswells also had a presence, whilst Midland Red South (Stagecoach) did the Stratford run. The Tewkesbury route has had a few guardians over time from Boomerang Bus to Astons, LMS are perfunctory at best – a typical indie scraping a living with a few bland Solos.

    In fairness, Stagecoach have been pretty decent over time and the clockface timetable is actually an improvement on what was there 25 years ago. Diamond have improved their fleet but it’s a bit underwhelming in terms of promotion. As for First, well the 50s brand and improvements were rationalised and the whole Worcester operation seems to be in torpor with elderly deckers and Citaros brought in whilst the more modern fleet has been largely removed to Potteries or Leicester to support that city’s low emission targets.

    As for the commitment of Worcestershire CC, that is self evident. Those bus shelters have been appalling for years. I can’t recall them being much better than what you’ve experienced. WCC are one of those local authorities that have simply all but abandoned bus passengers – little or no subsidy (save the odd s106) and the closure of the park and rides in Worcester of which one has now been sold and redeveloped. Lacklustre operators are the norm. Aside from Yarrantons who continue as they always have, you have a now declining Stagecoach as the best of a bad bunch with the occasional Johnson’s and both are only interlopers from across the border.

    Oh, and good you mention the BSIP – such is the commitment from WCC, they say
    “We will continue to support the commercial market. Where some transport needs cannot be met by the commercial market, the Council must consider whether it should intervene, by offering organisational, operational or financial support for any additional service provision.
    Worcestershire County Council will assess its priorities, in the context of funding made available as sustainability of services our critical to the success of any future network” – hardly a ringing endorsement. It’s almost like the BSIP was a box tick exercise to be endured….

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    1. I looked at the Worcestershire Local Transport Plan 4 (2018-2030)

      Almost no mention of buses . No revision number on the document and it appears it has never been updated. Quite how you can have a document that covers 12 years and never update it baffles me. It is the norm with councils though. They have a statutory duty to produce an LTP so they produce one and file it away never to be looked at again

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    2. Evesham certainly does NOT deserve a better bus service indeed its lucky to get what it is. As for better publicity that’s just laughable why bother with this town. Our publicity at Midland Red West was award winning and excellent yet Evesham was constantly loss making. Vandalism to vehicles was abhorrent personally I cannot understand why Simon doesn’t deregister the 247 the town doesn’t deserve the high quality operation of Diamond Bus why both with Evesham is population couldn’t care less what bus service it gets quite simply.

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      1. You show very clearly the typical attitude of bus companies and it is why they are failing. Offer a shoddy service and people will not use it and they will voter with their feet and that’s exactly what is happening

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      2. As someone who used to deliver Eveshams bus service I ,as always, speak from experience and reality. The last time I used the 247 the driver faced a torrent of abuse Evesham is simply not worth bothering about it gets the bus service it deserves so why bother?

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  6. No one deserves that sort of treatment.

    So how does the passengers don’t care about us, so we don’t care about them, help. I hope the NHS, or even the local supermarket, don’t take the same attitude if we need them. Fortunately, at least one of my local bus companies doesn’t, either.

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    1. Unfortunately he is typical of bus company management. It is not their fault it is the customers. A very strange attitude but very common in the industry

      Who is going to use an infrequent and unreliable service that is very expensive and does not run when you want to use it?

      It is even in many areas cheaper for 2 people to go by taxi which is why mot bus companies only end up with concessionary pass holders and even they are giving up on buses. When you cannot get people to use them for free you really are in trouble

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      1. Simply put there enough passengers to run the services commercially Midland Red West or Diamond Bus would be operating a network based on Evesham. Your comments are typical of armchair bus users who simply don’t understand the law of economics. The network was there but no one used despite Midland Red West winning numerous awards for its publicity. Evesham speaks for itself no uses the buses and then armchair experts moan about the standard of service. Use it or Lose it we used to say to put it bluntly Evesham Lost It!

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  7. As yourself this why do Diamond Bus operate quality, frequent , good value services to Crabbs Cross, Studley etc and don’t bother with Evesham save the infrequent 247? Answer customers actually use these services. Evesham actually had a good service from Midland Red West with very hard working staff but nobody used the network today they only operate in from Worcester. Evesham. Residents in Evesham aren’t bothered about a quality bus network so the market doesn’t provide one what it does get whatever anyone thinks is the bus service it deserves.

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  8. Small town bus networks like this need a radical redesign to create a network that provides access to jobs, health care, Higher education, rail interchange, and finally the high Street. They are ideal locations for high frequency minibus networks. If you look at how bus use in Exeter was massively increased when the minibuses were introduced there is a template to build a plan around. Transit Holdings recruited customer friendly retail staff, kept drivers on the same routes, had one brand for the network. If buses go where people want to go when they want to go then people will use them.

    Having read an article yesterday where most of the BSIP money seems to have been allocated to Covid support funding, I don’t think public funding is going to make much difference, so it will be up to bus operators to make a radical change to generate growth or die.

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    1. Midland Red West launched Merc 0708s in Evesham as we did with Citibus in Worcester & Reddilink in Redditch both networks were very successful and larger buses ended up on the services ironically reducing the popularity of the services leading to the inevitable chop and change. Buses will play very little role outside in Redditch & worcester whatever you try its dominated by car ownership and that’s not going to change on the whole Diamond Bus are very got at what they do in Worcestershire frankly I cant see anyone doing it any better.

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  9. It is interesting to see how bus services have contracted over the years. The decline has become a vicious circle of falling passenger numbers and service cuts. Previously Evesham had the benefit of through services to Birmingham (Midland Red 148 hourly), Cheltenham (Bristol & Stratford Blue) and Gloucester (Bristol). Although journeys are still possible by changing at Redditch or Tewkesbury it is not something very enticing. There was even Midland Red’s X91 from Hereford to Leicester.

    With ongoing thinking of only providing a service if someone else pays for it there is great difficulty in turning things around. Those operators, as evidenced in Roger’s Transdev Yorkshire post (and I have seen the same with Transdev Lancashire), who bother to sell their services and the idea of using bus services in general, do succeed. It is not the answer to everything and, as previous posts often mention, passenger numbers can depressingly low at times. However, one can’t help feeling that if a more positive and constructive attitude was taken by operators and local authorities, much more could be made of many services to everyone’s benefit. This is particularly, but no uniquely, the case when linked in with tourism promotion. By all means have the information online but put out at bus stops and places where people are likely to be able to see it as well.

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    1. Towns such as Evesham should be able to support a small network of well run town service probably using small midibuses
      It really needs a bus station as well where the town service would feed into a hub for the interurban services. The interurban services need to be sped up as well as many mow meander around trying to fill in for serves that have been axed

      Council do not help most are prepared to subsidise cars parking etc but not buses

      Maybe a small tax on public car paring spaces to even things up. Say £12 a year per parking space

      A small charge for Concessionary passes including those for the disabled. Say £30 a year. Could be a simple means testing. If they pay no income tax they are not charged for the pass

      We need a big improvement in bus company management as well. Most have a can’t do attitude

      If decent high quality services are run and fares are sensible then people will use them but currently bus companies have given up and just manage decline

      I except it will not be easy as bus companies and council have allowed bus service to become so dreadful they are not even an option for most people

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      1. Rubbish the last thing Concessionarys need with fuel costs and food prices rising is to pay as well as for Bus Services . Quite simply Concessionarys in Evesham would have to pay to use the bus while Brummies would still get it free. What a laughable idea.

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  10. I agree with your post James that the only way forward is a positive and constructive attitude between local authorities and operators. Unfortunately, bus service provision is not statutory and in times where there are extreme pressures on local authority budgets, there is little money left after education and social needs provision to pay for everything else that residents expect to be provided.

    Looking at Evesham, I notice that there are no buses after 7pm and only the Stratford service operates on Sunday. Diamond Bus run hourly Monday to Friday but only six journeys on Saturdays. I assume that Diamonds route is commercial.

    My fear is that Saturday bus services will increasingly be under threat. Yesterday afternoon I saw three bus journeys all leaving the town centre, two serving housing on the edge of town and one on an inter urban route. None of the journeys seen had a passenger.

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    1. Diamond Bus recieve no subsidy for the 247 its journeys are well loaded between Alcester & Redditch. The Saturday service reflects demand. Its continued operation beyond October will be matter of simple economics.

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    2. Your comment about Saturday buses is interesting. When visiting my local barbers recently, the owner said that Saturdays, once that busiest day of the week, was now one of the quietest. He blamed the working from home culture creating the situation where his customers were as likely to nip out for a trim on a Tuesday afternoon than at the weekend. I think this is probably replicated in other sectors too, further widening the provision of Saturday versus weekday bus services going forward.

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  11. Sorry, I may have given the impression I was in Evesham yesterday afternoon. I was in my own small town some considerable distance from Evesham.

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  12. Although Leicester is the East Midlands and quite far from Evesham they both came under the Midland Red well until Midland Red(East) became Midland Fox 🦊.One form, assuming that it still runs (your OS map shows it),of Evesham public transport that you missed is the wire pulled ferry over the river from Evesham to Hampton (not sure if Hampton is a separate village or just a suburb of Evesham?).Years ago when I did it it cost 20p and ran March to November from about 1000 to 1730.

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  13. Thanks for another enjoyable piece, Roger. If you haven’t considered it, maybe you should give thought to publishing all your ‘A to Z’ visits in good ol’ book form!?

    Evesham, sadly, seems to be like many market towns where few people ever visit the market anymore. However there does seem to be a reasonable network for the population, though maybe Evesham’s geographical location means a number of services have to run at a lower frequency rather than a couple of key corridors more often.

    The attitude of Worcestershire County Council has been rather Laissez-faire for a long time so bus operators seem to provide the minimum necessary without subsidy. At the risk of going off on a tangent, the village of Alvechurch (population around 6k) used to enjoy a service to Redditch and Birmingham which used to run every 30 minutes on certain sections. This headway gradually got eroded under First to the point where the service was run for the convenience of the bus company and just about got up to hourly at certain times but commuters were lost as you could only get to Birmingham very early or after 9 am. Diamond did seem to make a reasonable fist of things by bringing back a clockface timetable but ultimately couldn’t sustain competition from an improved cross-city line rail service and low emissions requirements in Birmingham. Now Alvechurch, outside of school days, has a combined two departures a day to Redditch or Bromsgrove on routes 182 and 183! Where was WCC in all this? The rail service is a good 10-15 minutes walk from the village centre so I still think there’s a role for the bus here.

    Maybe Evesham is doing quite well in comparison…

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    1. One of mates lives in Alvechurch I cannot see him or anyone else using anything above the level of service provided by Diamond Bus in partnership with WCC. Most times I am the only passenger on the 182 that says it all🤣

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      1. This is possibly because the service has declined to the point where only the very desperate (or transport enthusiast!) has any use for it. A classic case of ‘death by a thousand cuts’ if ever there was one..

        I wouldn’t mind betting there are more shared taxis operating between Alvechurch and Redditch now compared with when the bus was every hour…

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      2. Frankly I have to use the 182 due to cancer treatment at the QEHB I don’t regard myself as desperate and the reason the 146 was withdrawn by Simon is no one was using it. It is unfortunate that a regard those of having life saving cancer treatment as desperate I personally cannot thank both the QEHB enough for keeping me alive & Diamond Bus foroperating the 182

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      3. Please don’t take my comments personally – it was a general comment and I didn’t make reference to any one of the numerous reasons why people need to travel.

        I wish you all the best with your treatment.

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      4. After 5 operations at the QEHB & 23 months of treatment I am in remission unfortunately according to you I was desperate to have to use the 182 that’s your opinion and your entitled to it. Thankfully I rise above comments like that and am just greatfull Diamond Bus & NXWM in partnership with TfWM keep the bus services running throughout the lockdowns in the pandemic which I used daily for my life saving treatment. As you say I was desperate well yes desperate to stay alive after being diagnosed with a fast growing tumor that would have killed me in six months. However you are entitled to your opinion about those of us who use Diamond Bus 182.

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    1. I’m looking forward to N when hopefully Roger reaches Northallerton, county town of North Yorkshire. Another council that, albeit slightly better than Worcestershire, has overseen a marked decline since 2010 and has been poor for many years before that. Also, as Roger has chronicled, they are threatening to go down the DRT route with predictable consequences!

      However, the lukewarm approach of councils doesn’t mean that operators should simply accept failure. Again as Roger highlights, Transdev Blazefield are a much better operator and this is despite the county council not being especially pro public transport.

      As Roger highlights, Worcestershire is a depressing cocktail of average at best operators compounded by a tepid local authority with barely any concerted effort at a quality offering from any quarter. It need not be so – the previous blog highlights how it can be different.

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      1. There is NOTHING average about Diamond Bus in WORCESTERSHIRE with 70 plate Streetlites and great value tickets. Diamond Bus in very different circumstances in a county with an apathy for buses and despite your comments Rotala do it very well.

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      2. It is good that Diamond have a decent website and have some newer vehicles.

        However, as Roger says about his experience in Evesham that “There was no quality feel about the service on offer. It all appeared rather down-at-heel, as though it was on its last legs.” and we only have to look at the previous blog and Transdev Blazefield in Harrogate to see how different things could be.

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  14. A major problem is the lack of marketing and customer services with bus companies. What little markting they do is just targeted at existing bus users

    There needd to be radical changes in bus companied and a dramatic improvement in the management. Bus service are so run down and down market that they need real inovaton and marketing to win customers back and thats simply not happening

    Buses also need a significant amount of investment and as service are so run down that will not come totally from passengers. If bus services are not there or not adequate people simply cannot use them.

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    1. Diamond Bus has an excellent website for Bus Users in Worcestershire which I suggest you reference also the operator still produces comprehensive printed material. Worcestershire is very lucky to have such a premium, quality operator such as Diamond its a pity its only those of us who use the operator daily actually appreciate this.

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    2. In addition Diamond Bus provides passengers in Worcestershire with 70 plate Streetlites for thier convenience it would be interesting how you could advise Worcestershire Bus users could have anything better given to the hard operating conditions in the country,?

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  15. All the same this town reminded me of many happy times visiting similar towns in the good old seventies and not knowing what was there until arrival. Then deregulation and consolidation and we are where we are nowadays–most places boring corporate or pointless branding–Pity about the weather but definitely a place I would like to visit

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    1. Evesham is a lovley place to visit, spent many hours with my dad fishing on the Avon & then wandering around the garage of Midland Red on the Riverside, home to a S12 for many years. The town centre is an absolute horror know its never got over Woolworths closing but it boasts a good Wetherspoons & quite rightly its the gateway to the Cotswolds just don’t bother coming here by bus!🤣

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  16. If few people are using a bus network because buses don’t go where people want when they want to travel maybe the network needs to be redesigned to facilitate more travel opportunities by utilising interchanges. Combined with high frequency minibuses to minimise interchange times, or using timed interchanges, sometimes called a “pulse”system.

    https://humantransit.org/2009/04/why-transferring-is-good-for-you-and-good-for-your-city.html

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    1. We tried high frequency minibuses in Evesham and they were an utter failure. I am not a great believer in demand response minibuses this a niche market rhat excludes young people. I cannot see any cohesive future for buses in Evesham the fragmented market will simply continue will Midland Red West, The Birmingham Coach Company & Midland Red (South) still be serving the town in 5 years probably not but who knows?

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  17. Calls for Devon to take control of its ‘failing’ bus services

    Devon Labour councillors are calling on the government to reverse years of underfunding to allow local authorities to take control of their bus services and to provide a plan for public transport in Exeter and Devon.

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  18. Due to a depot fire on Friday night, Kev’s Coaches services will not run today, Monday 14th March.

    Services affected
    Service 19 – Maypole to Frankley via Northfield and Longbridge
    Service 38 – Northfield to Selly Oak via Cotterridge
    Service 39 – Longbridge to Worlds End via Northfield
    Service 39A – Woodgate Valley to Longbridge via Northfield
    Service 42 – Rubery,…

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