Tag: elderly

Shropshire Council went ahead and cancelled the rural Link service today. The buses are still running, but only for schools. Disabled and elderly people will need to use dial-a-ride community transport, which will run shorter distances, less frequently.  Hereabouts, that’s the Ludlow Traveller service. There was never any need to scrap Link. It was costly but it did not need to be so. Bizarrely buses were based in Shrewsbury, even if they only ever ran 30 miles away in the south of the county. Passenger numbers grew substantially from Link’s launch in December 2008 to a peak of around 3,000 passengers a month in mid-2012.  From end of 2012, they have declined, though now seem to seem to be fairly static at around 2,500 a month. This compares to an average of 1,005 passengers a month on the previous fixed rural services. Nearly 3,000 school students use the service each month. Though service use grew overall until the end of 2012, the different zones fared differently. Details are given in the graphs below (click on a graph for a bigger image). The puzzle is why numbers dropped after the end of 2012. Is it a coincidence that the drop begins…

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On 13 September, the South Shropshire Journal published my letter on the disgraceful state of Ludlow’s buses: Promises on buses have been ignored  Ludlow’s bus service is a disgrace. Unbelievably, Shropshire Council says that the quality of the service is not its responsibility. This is not the case. It was Shropshire Council that put the contract for bus services out to tender. It has a legal obligation to ensure that public service is adequate. No right minded person would consider a service based on clapped out buses running at half the frequency and costing twice the price as adequate for the town’s needs. Shropshire Council also has a legal duty to ensure that the needs of the elderly and disabled are met. Yet it has approved a service where half the services cannot be accessed by the disabled and the elderly find it difficult to get on board. The council cannot pretend that it could not know that such a poor service would be a consequence of its decision. The bus service in Ludlow has been a disgrace for a long while. We were promised that it would be improved after being tendered, including a Sunday service from the park…

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