Shropshire transport leader questions award of new Kidderminster to Ludlow bus contract to Diamond

Earlier in the week, I reported that the Diamond Bus Company had been awarded a new contract to run the 2L bus service between Kidderminster and Ludlow. I said:

Not everyone will be happy with the decision to allow Diamond to retain the contract. Several people have complained to me about unreliability and breakdowns.

It turns out that Simon Jones, the Shropshire Council portfolio holder for transport is not happy either. Answering a question from Councillor Madge Shineton at yesterday’s council meeting, he said Shropshire Council would certainly not have renewed Diamond’s contract. He held out hope that the contract might be terminated if services don’t improve.

Simon told the meeting:

It is a contract let by Worcestershire. I have in fact have written to my opposite councillor John Smith, who is responsible for highways, asking how Worcestershire just got to the position of awarding a contract to the existing supplier, because there has been a pile of complaints. We certainly wouldn’t have issued that contract to them. Although we have agreed the subsidy, it is being reviewed… depending on performance. And we will certainly work as hard as we can to actually get Worcestershire to reconsider that contract as to whether or not it should be up for reletting.