Press Releases Travel and Transport Worcestershire County Council

Comment on Diamond Buses Fare Increases from end of May 2023

As the Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, I understand the concerns surrounding the upcoming fare increase on Diamond Buses in Worcestershire. It is disheartening to witness these adjustments, but it is crucial to recognise that they stem from the escalating operational costs faced by the company.

Nonetheless, I want to assure you that we are actively engaged in securing and enhancing the future of our public transportation services. One significant step in this direction is the establishment of a new statutory Enhanced Partnership, which will pave the way for collaborative efforts between the council and bus operators to improve the overall service quality.

Moreover, I am delighted to share that the government has recently approved funding for our Bus Service Improvement Plan. We have been allocated an initial sum of £1.4 million to kickstart this endeavor. This investment highlights our unwavering dedication to enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of our bus services, ensuring that they meet the evolving needs of our community.

Furthermore, we are embracing technological advancements to make transportation more accessible and convenient. The introduction of Demand Responsive Transport (DRT) allows passengers to request a bus using a smartphone app, similar to popular modern taxi services like Uber. This innovative approach will provide greater flexibility and convenience, particularly in areas with lower demand.

In conclusion, while the fare increase is regrettable, it is a necessary step to account for the rising operational expenses faced by Diamond Buses. However, our focus remains steadfast on implementing measures that enhance our transportation services. The establishment of the Enhanced Partnership, coupled with the government’s funding for our Bus Service Improvement Plan, demonstrates our commitment to delivering improved quality and efficiency in our bus services for the benefit of our community. Additionally, the integration of Demand Responsive Transport showcases our readiness to embrace technology and explore innovative solutions. Together, these initiatives form the foundation for a better and more accessible public transportation system in Worcestershire.

Redditch South Reporting Back Travel and Transport Worcestershire County Council

Vehicle Activated Speed sign installed on Birchfield Road

Craig Warhurst and I as County Councillors for Redditch South were pleased to fund a new VAS sign on Birchfield Road, following a request from local Redditch Borough Councillor Joanne Beecham, supported by Councillor Juliet Barker-Smith and recently retired Councillor Tom Baker-Price as the 3 Headless Cross and Oakenshaw councillors at the time. The local Safer Neighbourhood policing team also supported the request.

This follows the installation of the new play park off Birchfield Road. Craig and I are also looking at further measures at this location and hope to report back soon.

The sign will measure the speed of oncoming vehicles and flash a reminder notice if they are exceeding the speed limit, which is 30mph for this section of the road.

The cost to the taxpayer for installing these signs is around £3,000 per fitting. Craig and I as local County Councillors have access to a small budget each year to support a range of localised highways interventions, including these VAS signs. They are largely effective in reducing average speeds for a given area, but over time need to be moved around as people get used to seeing them and no longer pay attention to them.

Worcestershire County Council

Big local history morning at Redditch Library

I was delighted to drop into Redditch Library this morning where I got to meet a number of exhibitors at their local history morning.

I spoke with representatives of Wythall Transport Museum, and got to meet various other historical and heritage societies.

It’s well worth dropping into a future event of this kind. Follow Redditch Library on Facebook for details.

Many thanks to the team for organising the event. I forgot to get a photo whilst I was there, so I hope it’s OK to use the event’s poster for this post instead.

Government Announcements Travel and Transport Worcestershire County Council

Funding announced for Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP) in Worcestershire

I am pleased to confirm that Worcestershire’s local bus network will benefit from nearly £1.5m in additional funding, announced by government recently.

This new funding will contribute towards our Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP), establishing our new Enhanced Partnership (EP), and could even help us with Demand Responsive Transport solutions (DRT).

Details of the breakdown in the funding stream will be announced on official County Council channels in due course. I wanted to share the headline immediately as I know buses are an important issue to many people across Worcestershire.

Travel and Transport Worcestershire County Council

Pointless Council motion rejected – because we are already doing most of it

At yesterday’s Worcestershire County Council meeting (18/05/2023) a motion by Greens and Independents asked me to carry out a number of actions relating to roads outside schools. I advised as follows:

1) I have already asked for the website to be updated to provide better guidance for the implementation of a ‘School Street’, which necessarily needs to be led by the schools, parents and communities.

2) Wherever a yellow zig-zig requires an updated Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) we will lay it. This has to be matched by a district-level commitment to enforcement however, otherwise we can lay all the TROs we like and it won’t solve anything. Only by working together can we make progress.

3) There is currently no known mechanism to make these flashing signs mandatory during school times only. Wherever we need to reduce a speed limits on a permanent basis for safety we will do so. I pointed out that speeding at school pick up and drop off times isn’t usually a problem as the area is so heavily congested (leading to people parking on zig-zags for instance!). Speed reduction requests can be made by a County Councillor.

Having addressed each point it was clear that there was nothing left for the Cabinet to decide, and so the motion was rendered effectively pointless – and was therefore rejected.

Redditch South

Casework update on drainage repair works at bottom of Mickleton Close in Oakenshaw

I popped by Mickleton Close in Oakenshaw today where a long-running issue with a drain is now drawing to a close. Works are underway to replace a connection from the gully to the fowl system, which was defective. The new connection will be easier to maintain and clear if it becomes blocked. It is hoped the works will be completed by Monday 22 May 2023.

Many thanks to Mr Y, local resident, who reported an issue with the drain years ago. The gully was cleared, but that did not fix the problem. It has taken a long time to get to this point, requiring my intervention as County Councillor – but that’s what we are elected to do. When issues get stuck – it’s our job to unblock them (pardon the pun!).

Even though it has taken a long time, I am glad we are nearly there now, and look forward to visiting again soon to check on the reinstatement works.

Travel and Transport

M42 Closure 5th/6th May 2023: New Junction 5a Installation

National Highways are building a new junction (5a) as part of the new upgrade to the M42 junction 6.

To build slip roads for the new junction they need to demolish the existing Solihull Road bridge.

To complete this work safely, a closure of the M42 in both directions between junctions 5 and 6 from 22:00 on Friday 5 May to 05:00 on Monday 8 May is needed.

A clearly signed diversion route is shown below.

For more information, you can:

  • visit
  • email:
  • call: 0300 123 5000 (available 24 hours a day)
Redditch South

Footway repairs in Patch Lane and Paddock Lane in Oakenshaw Redditch

Footways are an essential part of our infrastructure that enable people to walk safely from one place to another. However, over time, footways can become damaged and develop surface defects such as cracks, potholes, and uneven surfaces. These defects can make footways unsafe and potentially hazardous for pedestrians, especially those who are elderly or disabled.

To address these issues, local authorities often undertake footway repairs to fix surface defects and ensure the safety of pedestrians. According to the Department for Transport guidance on footway maintenance, local authorities should regularly inspect footways and prioritise repairs based on the severity of the defects and the level of footway usage. These repairs can range from simple patching to more extensive resurfacing work, depending on the severity and extent of the damage.

However, resurfacing footways in full can be a costly and time-consuming process. It requires significant resources, including labour, materials, and equipment, and can cause disruption to traffic and pedestrians in the area. Therefore, local authorities need to carefully consider the cost and benefits of resurfacing footways in full, especially when there are many footways to repair.

In the case of Patch Lane and Paddock Lane, the local authority has undertaken some repairs to fix the steps and other surface defects. While these repairs may not look great, they have achieved the primary goal of making the footways safe for people to use. Moreover, these repairs were done at a reasonable cost to taxpayers.

However, the local authority acknowledges that a longer-term approach is needed for these streets. Officers are looking at what they can do to resurface these streets in the future, but this will be a significant challenge given the large number of footways in the area. Therefore, careful consideration is required to ensure that the resources are used efficiently and effectively to provide a safe and usable footway network for everyone, in line with the Department for Transport guidance on footway maintenance.

Redditch South Travel and Transport

Resurfacing works on Tennyson Road, Headless Cross

Dear Residents

I wanted to let you know that Tennyson Road in Headless Cross is scheduled for resurfacing works from 24/07/2023 until 31/07/2023. This is scheduled during the school holidays to minimise disruption.

There will be a full road closure in place, although access to and from properties will be possible. In the weeks before the works are carried out signs will be placed out on the side of the road. There will also be a letter drop to all residents in the road.

The date of the works is subject to change due to weather and conditions. This is normal for all highways works, which requires reasonably dry weather.

This is a resurfacing job, and will require the surface to be planed off as it’s an old concrete road, bitumen layer put down and tarmac on top. The good news is I have asked and confirmed that the double yellow lines at the top of the road with the junction with Feckenham Road will be reinstated as part of these works.

If you have any questions or problems please let me know.

Best wishes,


Redditch South Travel and Transport

Foregate Street Astwood Bank Drainage Repair Works

There will be a road closure in place from Monday 17th April 2023 for 5 days to facilitate works to repair drainage systems in FOREGATE STREET in Astwood Bank.

Whilst contractors will strive to keep disruption to a minimum, and will always facilitate access to properties, some inconvenience is expected.

All highways works are very dependent on the weather, which may cause delays.

Any problems let me know by emailing and/or