A big thank you to everyone who turned out to the Ludlow bus users meeting on a cold, wet Saturday afternoon on 2 February. With more than one hundred people in the hall, many having to stand, we are sorry that many people had to be turned away.
The numbers alone show the concern, passion and need that Ludlow residents have for their buses.
What you told Shropshire Council was:
- You like the new buses but the timetables and routes need reconfiguring.
- You want to be consulted about any future changes to services.
- You want better information on changes that happen, including up-to-date timetables on bus stops.
- The timing of the buses needs to be altered so that they don’t serve some areas of the town within minutes of each other.
- The bus stop at the bottom of Old Street must be served – not just by the town buses, but also by the Kidderminster and Shrewsbury services.
- You want bus shelters, especially at the railway station, Aldi, Tesco, Co-op, Sheet Road, top of Corve Street and Riddings Road.
- The town’s park and ride must be served by a direct service every 15 minutes, otherwise tourists and shoppers will be driven away.
- The Kidderminster 292 bus is a vital service for Ludlow, Clee Hill and Cleobury Mortimer – it must continue.
- You’d also like a market day bus to Bridgnorth.
- You want a direct link between the £600,000 raised from car parking charges and fines in Ludlow and the bus subsidy.
- You want cast-iron a guarantee that the bus subsidy is long term.
- You asked for trials of Sunday and evening services.
The meeting was called by councillors Vivienne Parry and Tracey Huffer and organised by our Ludlow Lib Dem team. Conservative councillor Peter Adams, deputy portfolio holder for transport, attended on behalf of Shropshire Council.
Councillor Adams said Shropshire Council will work hard to meet local needs – though he warned “you won’t get everything.” The current Minsterley service is temporary and a tender for a three year service will go out shortly. The council will set minimum services standards for the tendered service, including an insistence on low floor, accessible buses.
There will need to be route changes and improvements to the service in the weeks ahead. It is vital that people are kept informed and timetables issued well in advance.
We must achieve an unbreakable agreement with Shropshire Council that car parking charges in this town will subsidise the park and ride and town bus services. Only by doing this can we ensure that there will be enough money to pay for the buses we need year in, year out.
The Ludlow Lib Dem team will be working with Shropshire Council and Ludlow Town Council to ensure that we get the buses Ludlow needs for people that live in the town and our tourist economy.