Good news as more than 80 potholes to be repaired in Ludlow overnight next Monday to Wednesday (updated)

Update 9 September. Due to the wet weather, repairs will not now begin until Thursday 12 September.

Good news on the pothole front. Our town is riddled with potholes and a bumpy ride is quite normal. While a few of the big potholes have been patched, the backlog remains large. The council’s consultants have now identified 82 defects within Ludlow that require repair. These are shown on the map below. They will be repaired overnight on 9-11 September.

Shropshire Council’s highways contractor, Kier, will be using a new technique to quickly repair potholes. Under the process, which the highways team says is “extremely quiet”, potholes are cleaned out, filled with a material called Texpatch and covered with a patch. This is expected to provide a longer-lasting, smoother, neater finish compared to traditional pothole repairs. The process has already been trialled in Whitchurch and Market Drayton.

This is welcome news. Potholes are a hazard and they damage vehicles. They also give a poor impression of our town to visitors. It’s great that these potholes are to be repaired in time for the Food Festival which begins on 13 September.

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Welcome changes to timetable for Ludlow to Leominster and Hereford bus service from Monday 2 September

Doom and gloom have surrounded the rural bus network for many years as services are relentlessly cut back or axed altogether. But every now and again, there a glimmer of hope.

With thanks to work by Bus Users Shropshire, Lugg Valley Motors will be introducing an improved 490 bus service between Ludlow and Leominster and onwards to Hereford from next Monday, 2 September. The service calls at Overton Touring Park, Richard’s Castle, Orleton and Luston. The new timetable adds additional services to and from Ludlow on weekdays and Saturdays, and the bus will call at Ludlow School on schooldays.

The service is subsidised by Herefordshire Council. Shropshire Council does not contribute.

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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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