Shropshire Council to review damaging parking charges next Wednesday – will it listen?

There is no longer any doubt that the parking regime introduced last November is damaging Ludlow’s independent traders. Ludlow Mayor Tim Gill told BBC Radio Shropshire last week that trade was down 13% before Christmas and 16% after Christmas. This was despite the mild winter. Roger Curry, owner of Bodenhams, told the station the new charges mean that people are always in a rush and don’t linger long enough to spend money (begins at 1:47).

These comments come ahead of a review of the parking regime imposed on our town by Shropshire Council last November. That regime increased on-street parking charges in the town centre to £1.80 an hour and the charge in Castle Street car park to £1.00 an hour. The pop and shop concession was reduced to from fifteen to five minutes. Charges on the Linney and Coronation Avenue substantially increased.

Next Wednesday, 5 June, a Shropshire Council committee will conduct the first review of the charges. Please let me know any additional comments you have before then.

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It’s time Shropshire Council and the police commissioner stopped window dressing on road safety and took determined action

Shropshire Council has teamed up with the West Mercia police commissioner to launch a road safety initiative. A free driver awareness course is on offer. A drop-in session will be held at Ludlow Mascall Centre on Monday 8 July, 5pm to 7pm. Details of the Road Focus sessions.

Anything that might improve road safety is important. But the record of the council and commissioner on road safety initiatives is poor. Neither supports a 20mph limit on all residential streets in the county. Safety schemes outside schools have been delayed indefinitely.

If we slow traffic in an already slow county, we will reduce both the risk and severity of injury. That would achieve more than four drop-in sessions and a single awareness course. This sadly looks like little more than a PR exercise from a council and commissioner that want to show they are working on road safety without investing in making our roads safer.

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Today is the last day to give your views on Shropshire Council’s unsustainable slash and burn cuts to bus services

Shropshire Council has been consulting on drastic cuts to local bus services. The council is only concerned with saving £455,000 – plus an unspecified saving on concessionary fares. This is a slash and burn exercise driven by a council that doesn’t have a strategy for the future of public transport in the county.

The proposals will cut Bishop’s Castle off except for the school run. It is bad news for sustainable transport in Shrewsbury with a substantial hike in park and ride costs. In Ludlow, the popular 701 town service will be cut by a third.

These cuts will disproportionately disadvantage older and vulnerable people, along with those of limited mobility. Shropshire Council has failed to assess the impact of the cuts on people, communities and the environment.

Buses are a social service. By providing access to medical, retail and social facilities, they promote health and wellbeing. That lowers costs elsewhere in public sector, including the care sector and the NHS.

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Ludlow town bus service to be cut back as Shropshire Council abandons sustainable transport

On Tuesday, Shropshire Council announced a consultation on huge cuts in bus services. For Ludlow, the headline is that the 701 town bus serving the east side of town will be cut back from a half hour service to a 45-minute service. There are no plans for changes to the 722 park and ride service. No cuts are planned to the out of town routes from Ludlow to Kidderminster (292) and to Knighton (740). The Minsterley 435 service to Shrewsbury and the Lugg 490 to Leominster and Hereford do not receive direct subsidy from Shropshire Council so are unaffected by these proposals.

The bottom line is that the council wants to cut more than £400,000 from its bus budget. There has been no assessment of the impact of these cuts on how people get to medical services, shops, friends and work. This consultation shows that Shropshire Council has abandoned any ambitions for sustainable transport.

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15-minute closure on Brand Lane this morning 28 February for pothole repair

Brand Lane will close for around 15 minutes midmorning today to fix a nasty pothole at the Old Street end. There will be no signposted diversions and large vehicles will need to wait for the road to be cleared. I have asked for the work to be timed to minimise disruptions to the town bus services. Please be patient if you get held up. This brute of a pothole is wrecking cars and must be repaired.

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