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Councillors meet with First Bus to discuss future plans

Councillors from Malvern Hills District and Wychavon District Councils have met with First Bus to discuss the future of services in both districts.

The meeting followed the announcement by FirstGroup that First Bus will be separating from the company, by sale or other means.

Nigel Eggleton, Managing Director of First Midlands, met with councillors at the Council House in Malvern on Thursday (20 June) to discuss the plans and what it might mean for passengers.

He offered reassurances that services will continue as normal in both districts while the future of First Bus is resolved.

FirstGroup has a portfolio of five market leading public transportation businesses in the UK (First Bus and First Rail) and in North America (First Transit, First Student and Greyhound).

The company is currently consulting stakeholders and has advised that the changes, whilst being carried out at the appropriate pace, are expected to take some time.

Cllr Sarah Rouse, Leader of Malvern Hills District Council, said: “With more than 5,400 households not having access to a vehicle in the district, bus services provide an essential life-line to some residents. Depending on what happens this could provide an opportunity to fill in gaps and to improve the service where needed.”

Cllr Bradley Thomas, Leader of Wychavon District Council, said: “We hope a solution can be reached soon and we welcome discussions with First Bus. We'll work together to ensure they are fully aware of residents' needs in the urban and rural areas of the county.”

Pictured: Nigel Eggleton, Managing Director of First Midlands, Cllr Bradley Thomas, the Leader of Wychavon, Cllr Natalie McVey, Portfolio Holder for Housing and Health at MHDC, Cllr Sarah Rouse, Leader of MHDC, Cllr Jack Hegarty, Chief Executive Officer of Wychavon and MHDC, and Cllr Tony Rowley, Portfolio Holder for Planning, Infrastructure and Urban Design