A BUS SERVICE which was facing the axe weeks ago has been given a stay of execution after Worcestershire County Council stepped in to keep a service running for the next six months.
After First Bus announced it would no longer be providing the 147, which runs from Halesowen to Worcester, Romsley Parish Council launched a petition. That amassed 1,000 signatures and was handed to Worcestershire County Council.
Coun John smith, cabinet member for highways, said the authority had identified one-off funding for several services which First Bus had said it would no longer put on for residents.
That he added would provide much-needed time to assess the situation and look for a long-term solution.
He added : “We are disappointed that First have taken this decision.
“We have to stress however, the county council cannot take responsibility for these bus services on a permanent basis and alternative options must be found.”
A First Bus spokesman said: “We took the service on in 2014 after another operator withdrew from the service with the intention of giving it a try and seeing if we could successfully run it.
“Currently it is not carrying many people and is operating at two thirds of its cost so we have made the unfortunate decision to withdraw the service.”
A spokesperson for Romsley Parish Council said: “Our service remains threatened and it is vital that we all use the bus as much as possible to demonstrate its importance to our community.”
He added the parish council would continue to represent Romsley residents and work constructively with the county council, along with bus company representatives, in a bid to secure the service long-term.