The Worcestershire on Demand bus service in the south of the Malvern Hills District, has expanded and now offers a wider service for residents.
The service launched last year, to provide a public transport service, with travel based on demand rather than using fixed routes and timetables.
The buses provide a service for areas including Upton upon Severn, Kempsey, Hanley Swan, Hanley Castle, Longdon, Bushley and Welland. Passengers can travel to local points of interest, such as Malvern Hospital, Malvern Railway Station and Malvern Retail Park and also further afield to places like Worcestershire Parkway Station, Worcester Countryside Centre and Tewkesbury town centre.
Councillor Mike Rouse, Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Highways and Transport at Worcestershire County Council said: “We launched the on-demand service in Malvern in July last year and the number of users has been steadily growing since.
“We’re expanding this service to cover many more journeys across the district and beyond. They provide a sustainable and efficient way of getting around a rural setting and are a key part of our mission to enhance and secure bus travel in Worcestershire.”
Buses in the Worcestershire on Demand Malvern zone are operated by Malvern Community Action (in conjunction with Worcester Wheels) and LMS Travel. The service is funded by Worcestershire County Council and Malvern Hills District Council.
Councillor Tom Wells, Leader of Malvern Hills District Council, added: “We are very pleased to be providing funding to support such an essential service for our residents across the Malvern Hills district.
“On demand transport provides a life-line to communities who need assistance with accessing health services, important appointments, and town centres for shopping and entertainment.
“Not only this, but it is a great way of reducing social isolation for people living in rural areas, as well as offering a sustainable travel solution. Both of which come under the council’s priorities.”
The buses run from 7am until 7pm Monday to Saturday. There’s a flat fare of £2.50 for journeys per person, with additional passengers paying £1.25 and concessionary cards are accepted. Ticket bundles are available.
Malvern is the second area to operate Worcestershire on Demand buses, following the successful launch of the service in Bromsgrove in July 2021. A third service, covering Pershore and Evesham is planned for later this year.
On demand buses offer a bespoke alternative service to the familiar local bus. They provide a flexible, affordable, and sustainable form of public transport. Passengers request a journey through an App or sometimes a telephone call and they are collected quickly and within a few metres of their location. Passengers share journeys with others. Journeys may involve a short walk to maximise route efficiency, eliminate lengthy detours, and replicate journey times in a private car.
The ’Worcestershire on Demand’ app is available to download on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
A passenger will be able to select their pick-up and drop-off location when booking a journey. The system will then direct people to a nearby ‘virtual bus stop’ for pick-up and drop-off, allowing for quick and efficient shared trips.