Ludlow Town Council tells Shropshire Council to urgently rethink town centre exit closure next week

The town council has made a last-ditch attempt to prevent the closure of Brand Lane next Monday to Wednesday until a better plan for managing the resulting traffic chaos is in place. The closure is for three days, 24-hours a day to connect electricity and water to a single house. This is excessive. Buses and HGVs are to be rerouted over the Whitcliffe, a proposal that will not work.

The town council’s letter to Shropshire Council is reproduced in full below. It ends by saying: “The Town Council demands that Shropshire Council recognises the importance of the tourism economy of Ludlow and finds an alternative way forward.” That’s spot on.

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Ludlow town buses – our community room on wheels – are to keep going

We live in era of draconian cuts to local public services. Cuts to bus routes have always been on the agenda of Shropshire Council. Many councillors see them primarily as a cost to the public purse. These are councillors that almost never catch buses.

Here in Ludlow, our town services are social service, keeping people active and independent. The good news is that both the 701 and the 722 will be continue to be subsidised by Shropshire Council for the time being. I reckon that’s for a year at least.

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New bus stop in Ludlow will improve mobility access across the town

Sometimes the small things matter most. In this case, moving a bus stop by just 25 metres will improve mobility access in Lower Galdeford.

Two years ago, I asked for the steps and bollards at the Galdeford end of Friars Walk to be removed. This ensured a fully accessible route between Old Street and Lower Galdeford and the Bishop Mascall Centre.

Since then, the bus stop at the Galdeford end of Friars Walk has been better used. But there was one problem. Buses could not draw up close to the kerb.

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Shropshire bus services, including those in Ludlow, will be decimated by the subsidy cuts planned by Shropshire Council

Come to discuss the cuts at the Bus Users Shropshire public meeting tomorrow. Ludlow Assembly Rooms, 1 February, 10.45am.

“Bus routes may be at risk of being scaled back.”

This line in Shropshire Council’s latest budget figures must have been written with the deepest sense of irony. The council is proposing a 91% cut in subsidies for public transport from £1.5 million to just £145,000 by April 2018. When payments for concessionary fares are taken into account, the cuts amount 23% across the board.

At risk of being scaled back? Bus services can barely operate on current subsidies. They are likely to be decimated by these cuts. We are likely to see more towns and villages served only by infrequent community minibuses, not regular scheduled services.

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Ludlow bus fare rise is not fair – but typical of the secretive way Shropshire Council works

Tomorrow, 21 September, the fares on the 722 bus service in Ludlow will be hiked upwards by up to 25%. This sudden price leap astounds and angers me.

Have fuel costs gone up by 25% in the last year? The cost of fuel is down. On 31 March 2014, diesel was 136p a litre. A year later it was 119p. Currently it is lower.

Are drivers’ wages being raised? No, they are being cut by the operator.

Have passengers fallen? Not that I can see and I use the 722 most days.

Has the Shropshire Council subsidy been cut? The projected costs of subsidising the service this financial year is £85,175 against £91,271 last year. Continue reading “Ludlow bus fare rise is not fair – but typical of the secretive way Shropshire Council works”