Do you have problems getting a resident parking permit in Ludlow’s Red and Blue Zones? Let me know

I have recieved several complaints from town centre residents who cannot obtain on-street parking permits for the zone in which they live. Residents ring MiPermit, the Shropshire Council contractor to deliver parking charges. They are then told their property is not on the database and they are denied a permit. This hasn’t happened before. Residents would simply contact the council, supply proof they lived at a property, pay a fee and the permit was in the post.

But if you live in some addresses on Broad Street, Corve Street, Lower Galdeford, Market Street and other streets you are now denied a permit.

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Ludlow gridlocked for the morning and not a moment’s work during Severn Trent Water’s blockade of Corve Street

Welcome to Shropshire in 2019. Severn Trent Water arrived without notice to block off the Bullring at the top of Corve Street just after 9am this morning. The work was declared an emergency so no notice was given to Shropshire Council or anyone else. But it was only a leaky stopcock. Buses stopped. People missed their trains. I learnt that the only way that one bit of Shropshire Highways can contact another bit of Shropshire Highways is to ring the customer call centre and wait for up to forty minutes to get connected. You couldn’t make it up.

After two-and-a-half hours the blockade was lifted. Despite the disruption. no work had been done whatsoever. Things can only get better. But I am not holding my breath.

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FIT strategy for Shropshire buses published as mood changes against bus cuts

The mood is changing on buses. For many years, rural bus services have been cut back. They are threatened with more cuts as council finances dwindle. Now Shropshire Council has said it will roll back some of the planned bus cuts after a consultation produced an unprecedented response from bus users. But the council still lacks an up to date bus strategy and a plan for long term investment in the bus network.

Bus campaigners are stepping into the gap. At the end of last month, the Foundation for Integrated Transport (FIT) has published a report on Shropshire Rural Buses. The author, Professor John Whitelegg says failure is embedded in the current system and change is now necessary. His report concludes:

“It is in fact very easy indeed to provide high quality rural public transport in a way that supports vibrant, healthy, economically successful rural communities and contributes to keeping young people in those communities.”

That’s ambitious. But why shouldn’t we be ambitious for the future of buses? It is time to halt the endless cutbacks and invest in the county’s bus networks.

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New road safety work will include a calming scheme outside Ludlow Infants School in Sandpits

Shropshire Council intends to carry out fifteen road safety schemes around the county this year. The list includes long needed traffic calming outside Ludlow Infant and Nursery School in Sandpits Road. The decision follows site meetings where parents, governors and councillors have pressed the case for action to reduce the risk of accidents on this busy road. It is hoped that the work will take place in the autumn.

Another scheme to provide a crossing on Old Street for children and parents at St Laurence’s School is not yet scheduled and is likely to be some way off.

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Shropshire Council’s chaotic scrutiny meeting ignored the 18% downturn in trade since parking charges were hiked in Ludlow

On 5 June, the Performance Management Scrutiny Committee met to discuss the controversial changes to parking charges. Committee papers were sent out just 26 hours before. I doubt that all committee members had read all ten documents. Officers also sprung a huge amount of crammed onto overcrowded slides on a hard to see screen. I am not convinced that any member of the committee was adequately briefed for the decisions they were to make. Certainly not the chair of the committee who was unaware that officers had proposed a series of recommendations.

The committee and officers seemed to be oblivious to the evidence gathered by Ludlow Town Council that shows independent trade is down by 18% in the first few months of this year compared to last year despite the milder weather.  

The committee agreed to review the extent of the Red and Blue Zones. Residents with on-street permits will be able to park in car parks and may also be able to apply for a second permit. Owners of a holiday let will be able to apply for an on-street parking permit for guests. Tickets purchased on a phone will be 10p cheaper.

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