The parking surface is rubbish and unsafe. The bus shelter is a mess. Disabled parking bay signs have been knocked over. Almost every morning sees litter strewn everywhere. Nitrous Oxide canisters, condoms, booze tins. Young racers spin their cars around and perform handbrake turns.
This is Ludlow’s park and ride site. A major gateway to our town. The Eco Park site has been neglected by its owner, Shropshire Council, for more than a decade. Councillors have been complaining about the state of the facility for years but Shropshire Council’s answer is always, “We’ll sort it out when we can”.
We are calling time on Shropshire Council. We are telling it to get the park and ride fixed. Get it fixed now.
Today, myself, Vivienne Parry, Tracey Huffer and Richard Huffer are launching a consultation on the state of the park and ride site, and on what we see the priorities for improvement. We want to hear your views.
Our consultation runs until 21 July. We have set out the case for improvement in this six-page document. I summarise the main points below. Comments can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll also pick up comments from social and other media.
Mapping a future for Ludlow’s park and ride
Repairing, improving, securing. There is an urgent need for short term repairs to the park and ride area. We must also plan longer term improvements to facilities at the site. The site itself needs securing to prevent its continued use for antisocial behaviour.
Immediate repairs. The bus shelter should be repaired and cleaned, and scruffy signage replaced. The disabled bay signs should be removed. Any potholes should be temporarily patched. The missing litter bin should be replaced with an extra bin on the south west corner of the parking area.
Replacing the parking surface. The temporary plastic grid surface must be replaced. Any replacement should be porous to reduce runoff towards the balancing pond and Ledwyche Brook.
Securing the parking area. A low post and rail barrier should surround the parking area to prevent vehicles driving over kerbs and grass to access it. Electronic barriers should be installed at the two entrances. These should automatically lock between 8pm and 6am.
Charging for parking. Shropshire Council should consider bring the park and ride into its charging regime at not higher than Band 6, maximum £2.40 a day. This would also help promote active and sustainable travel. Users of the park and ride service should be given a discount on bus travel to and from the town centre.
Tackling antisocial behaviour. A secure parking area will minimise antisocial behaviour from young racers. Before this is in place, we would ask that Ludlow Senior Neighbourhood Team increase evening patrols around the Eco Park.
Improving bus services. A more frequent bus service from the park and ride to Ludlow town centre is desirable. This should be discussed in the context of the provision of wider town services.
Wildflower meadow at the Eco Park. The NHS acquired land north of the park and ride for a new community hospital but this project was abandoned in 2013. The two hectare site has since been popular with dogwalkers but no other use for it has yet been found. The site has been mowed three times this year stunting wildflower growth and reducing biodiversity. We propose that this land is repurposed as a wildflower. Paths for walkers should be mowed along existing desire lines and the rest mowed once a year. This will save money. It will promote wildflowers and biodiversity. This cannot be a permanent arrangement as at some point the site will be developed.
Thanks to everyone who has helped with photography.