Category: Transport

Ludlow’s broken park and ride site is an embarrassment to our town – it’s time it was fixed

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.

King Street closure order has come into force – it’s closed to vehicles every Friday and Saturday for up to 18 months

The closure of King Street between 10am and 3pm today and tomorrow is a temporary measure. Initially it will be in place for 18 months but it can be cancelled at any point if it is causing disruption. The closure is to promote social distancing on one of our busiest streets for traffic and pedestrians. In ordinary times, pedestrians squeeze along the narrow pavements with their shopping bags and pushchairs. They frequently spill out into the road, as do the drivers of mobility scooters, where they compete with cars and vans for use of the narrow street. This congestion has always been hard to resolve because shops need deliveries, town centre residents require access to their homes and people coming into town to shop or eat need to park. Now the experimental closure to motorised vehicles is underway. We must see how it works.

Shropshire Council publishes order to close King Street to vehicles on Friday and Saturday 10am to 3pm

Today, Shropshire Council published the orders to close King Street during the middle of the day on Fridays and Saturdays. The closure will come into force next Friday, 26 June. There has been a lot of debate and confusion about this road closure. Many people want King Street with its “narrows” closed at peak periods seven days a week (see my poll). Others did not want it closed at any point, especially owners of town centre businesses. Ludlow Town Council wanted High Street closed as well. Then Shropshire Council unexpectedly decided to close King Street seven days a week. After something of a rumpus, the council decided to restrict the closure to two days. Which what we agreed in the first place. We must now see how this goes. We need to talk to businesses, residents, shoppers and visitors about how the closure helps them or whether it hinders them.

Sandpits Road closed from 13 July 2020 to February 2021 for utility and safety works – New Road is one way from October to February

We have been expecting this work for a while. There has long been a problem with flooding of properties at Whitefriars off Sandpits Road. However, to allow sewers to realigned and their capacity increased, other utilities need to be moved – electricity, gas, telecoms and water. That’s a big task, hence the length of the closure – up to nine months. Severn Trent Water (STW) will also upgrade the sewers on New Road during the same contract.   Pedestrian access is unaffected. Access to the school and homes will be maintained, including for emergency services. As part of the works, STW will install a raised table outside the school entrance to slow traffic. That’s a long awaited road safety project.

Shropshire Council withdraws seven day closures for King Street and High Street in favour of agreed two day closures for King Street

The last seven days have not been Shropshire Council’s finest hours. Especially for its highway’s managers. Last Thursday or thereabouts, it issued an experimental traffic regulation order closing King Street and High Street every day of the week between 10am and 3pm. On Friday afternoon it issued a press release confirming the closure from Monday morning. Only yesterday afternoon, did highway’s managers admit that the experimental TRO was wrong. We had agreed closure on Fridays and Saturdays during the middle of the day. And only for King Street. Not for High Street. Not for Sunday to Thursday. The result of the confusion is that the agreed King Street road closure, Friday and Saturday, 10am to 3pm, will not be in place until next week.

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