THE BROMSGROVE councillor responsible for transport has said public and community services across the district need a complete overhaul to ensure they were sustainable long-term.
Coun Adam Kent was speaking after Bromsgrove District Council put forward its response to the Worcestershire County Council Passenger Transport Strategy.
He said: “What we need are the right vehicles operating the right areas – for example, there’s no point in having a gas-guzzling 50 seater which does three miles to the gallon running through a village with just three people on it.
“In that instance we could have an electric 12-seater that did the route much more economically.”
He estimated an electric community vehicle with a volunteer driver would cost less than £30-an-hour to run and said other areas were already operating electric buses to good effect.
The response document, which Coun Kent led, also highlights the importance of linking up different transport methods.
He said: “In my area in Wythall it is not justifiable or sustainable to run a service from the village to Birmingham.
“It would be better to run a bus to the railway station so people could use the train to get to where they wanted to go.
“But we are notoriously bad at linking bus with rail – that needs to change.”
Other suggestions include buses running between key places – for example a shuttle service between the railway station and Bromsgrove town centre and buses between regularly visited places, such as hospitals, medical centres, doctors’ surgeries and shops.
Coun Kent said: “Bus companies are understandably not interested in running non-profitable routes and many are not the best at investing in the latest technology because of the added expenditure.
“Worcestershire County County can subsidise some services but they have to be the right ones, otherwise you find yourself footing the bill for a private company’s lack of investment.”
Other proposals in the document include bus lanes and secure cycle storage at certain bus stops where people could leave their bikes, knowing they would still be there when they got back.
“We need to focus on how we want public transport in the district to look in ten years time, rather than just the here and now,” added Coun Kent.