BUS users in Alvechurch have welcomed news that Diamond Buses have taken over Worcestershire County Council's 182 and 183 routes, after boycotting the services over accessibility issues.

The Advertiser reported in September how pensioners, mothers and disabled passengers had struggled to get on some of the Woosh buses with zimmer frames, wheelchairs and shopping trolleys, due to lack of space.

District councillor Michael Thompson called on the council to make 'significant improvements' to the vehicles, but the council insisted its Woosh services did comply with accessibility regulations.

Bromsgrove Advertiser:

Both services, which perform a daily return trip through Bromsgrove, Lickey, Alvechurch and Redditch, have since been taken over by Diamond Buses.

A spokesman for the operator said: "I can confirm we have taken over the operation of the 182 and 183 services since February 26.

"These vehicles will be low-floor Disability Discrimination Act specification.

"At present there are no further plans to take over any further operations."

Cllr Alan Amos, council cabinet member with responsibility for highways, added: "The service will be compliant as previously with the relevant legislation.

"Naturally, we will want to ensure that Diamond provide a first class and reliable service."

Cllr Michael Thompson said residents were pleased to hear of the takeover, and were 'hopeful' the new buses would be more accessible.

"Public transport is an essential part of life for so many people living in Bromsgrove and it is paramount that local services like these are well funded," said Cllr Thompson.

"I am happy to have listened to and helped the residents who contacted me about this matter."