Shropshire Council budget: Bus subsidies cut, park and ride fares up and new housing company burdened with debt

Shropshire Council has cut £48 million from its budget over the last three years under pressure of government cuts. It will need to cut, or in its words “save”, £18.5m next year. The council has now set out details of the proposed cuts and is asking for public comments.

The lengthy litany of cuts is grim. In this article, I look at buses and Shropshire Council’s plan for a new debt-ridden housing company. I also review other cuts that will affect how Shropshire Council works with local communities and will make Shirehall more distant from Ludlow than ever.

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Shropshire Council statement on the parking ticket slapped on a Ludlow bus

Two weeks ago, penalty charge notice was stuck on the windscreen of a bus in Mill Street. This was parked in an authorised bus stand. The Arriva bus driver was taking a break before resuming the journey to and from Knighton. Shropshire Council has now agreed a deal to stop this happening again.

I copy this below. What puzzles me is that Shropshire Council decided to slap a ticket on a bus rather that sort out a solution with the bus service parking in the first place. We need to move away from an “enforcement first and solutions later policy.” Buses are one of our most vital public services. I will be asking for new signs to be put in place when the new parking regime begins in November.

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My evidence to the House of Commons transport select committee said rural buses are a social service we need and deserve

The House of Commons transport select committee is investigating the state of the nation’s buses. The health of the bus market inquiry is looking at a number of technical issues and matters like congestion – which is barely relevant in Shropshire. But one of the themes of the inquiry caught my eye:

The committee is particularly interested to receive evidence on… the provision of services to isolated communities in rural and urban areas, and the reliance of particular communities and groups of people on bus services.

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It’s the pits – Shropshire Council slaps a yellow ticket on a local bus

The talk of the town today has been the slapping of a parking ticket on a bus. This happened yesterday. The bus was a scheduled Arriva service parking outside the Ludlow Assembly Rooms on Mill Street. It is a parking bay dedicated to local buses.

But this seems to matter not one jot to Shropshire Council’s civil enforcement officers. One in four of their yellow tickets are cancelled. But they remain slap happy.

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Major closure on Sheet Road set to disrupt traffic at the end of October (updated)

I cannot remember a week in the last few years when Ludlow has not suffered roadworks. They are becoming as much a part of the character of our town as its historic buildings and the collapsed town walls.

Update 15 October. After this article was published agreement was reached to allow buses through the roadworks at all times, though there may be delays.

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