Throughout Shropshire, and across the country, minibuses and cars are ferrying people to GPs, hospitals, shops and to meet their friends. The benefits are huge. Community transport services in Shropshire make more than 100,000 passenger journeys a year, with passenger spending averaging £30 a trip. The of community transport benefits in reducing social isolation and promoting wellbeing are substantial. But a threat is looming. A new interpretation by civil servants of EU regulations may make many community transport schemes unviable. That will harm rural and vulnerable communities across Shropshire.
This has been a tortuous process. The new timetable is not quite finalised. But we know enough tonight to publish the details of the replacement service between Ludlow and Kidderminster that will begin next Monday, 16 April 2018. The 292 service will run seven trips each way on schooldays, maybe six trips out of term and on Saturdays – a few details need to be finalised. First bus out of Kidderminster will be 7.30am and the first from Ludlow at 8.30am. The run time will be shorter and will bypass the estate roads at the Kidderminster end. Hooray!
I felt physically ill when I sat down at Shropshire Council’s Performance Management Scrutiny Committee last Wednesday. We were there to yet again to argue against a damaging rise in parking charges in Ludlow from next September. It was the second time the matter had come to scrutiny. The last meeting looked like a stitch up. I knew the moment that I walked in at this meeting we were due a repeat. And it proved to be so. We are get charges until 8pm on the streets in the town centre and they will be set at £1.80 an hour, the highest outside Shrewsbury. There is no justification for this.
Updated: 17:50pm Sunday. This post will not now be updated as the disruption appears to be over.
In the last few minutes the company has said: “A normal service will operate between Cardiff and Shrewsbury/Manchester.”
Check before you travel. You can check the latest information at https://www.journeycheck.com/arrivatrainswales/. For real time information on arrivals and departures from Ludlow, and cancellations, the best site is live departure boards.
Updated at 14.30pm. I’ll be back in the morning with an update on the trains.
We had a couple of inches of extra snow in Ludlow overnight. Many side roads are still snowed up.
Main roads are looking good for careful drivers. Many side roads need to wait for the thaw which has begun.
Below are the updates on buses, trains and services in Ludlow.