Residents being urged not to miss the minibus

November 09 2020
Residents being urged not to miss the minibus

Low passenger numbers on the recently introduced Norton Connector minibus service linking the parish with St Peter’s could lead to the service being extended into Hatfield.

During a meeting of Norton-juxta-Kempsey Parish Council councillor John Waizeneker told fellow members the number of passengers using the service during its early days was “fairly disappointing”.

He added that the service had been well received by those who had used it, including two people who said it had enabled them to leave their homes for the first time since March.

Mr Waizeneker said no-one had used the service to go to or from Worcestershire Parkway station.

As a result the Norton Connector would only call there by request.

The service was made possible by a Community Legacy Grant (CLG) from Wychavon District Council and was initially due to run for three years before becoming self-funding.

Mr Waizeneker said that based on passenger numbers to date the funding might only extend into the second year.

Parish councillors discussed options to boost the service, including considering whether to extend it into Hatfield and explore the possibility of commercial advertising or sponsorship on the vehicle.

The council’s vice-chairman, Peter Richmond, wondered whether younger people, such as students, could be encouraged to use it.

Mr Waizeneker said all users so far had been concessionary pass holders.

Parish councillors agreed that the service should receive another publicity boost.

The Norton Connector minibus broke down during its first week of operation but Worcestershire County Council said: “The initial fault with the vehicle that was leased to Worcester Wheels has now been resolved.

“We are in regular contact with Norton-juxta-Kempsey Parish Council and Worcester Wheels regarding the operation and have had no further issues.

“We have made sure that a replacement vehicle is available to the scheme should any further problems arise.”

What do you think?  Will you be using the bus? Let us know your views at southworcestervoice@gmail.com