Transport for Wales has taken over the rail line through Ludlow, with international rail company KeolisAmey providing the service. There are promises of major investment in trains and stations, cheaper fares and better services. It could not come a moment too soon. Punctuality has been falling, trains are often overcrowded and the older rolling stock is getting unreliable. Unfortunately, last week was a pretty shaky start for KeolisAmey.
In what must be one of the most bizarre actions by an office bound railway official, Network Rail has written to residents in Steventon on the outskirts of Ludlow telling them that it needs to undertake work on parish’s railway bridge.
So far, so good. But Ludford residents became suspicious when they read references to the High Street. A High Street in Steventon, a hamlet on the outskirts of Ludlow? Hardly.
Major works are underway at Ludlow station. The scheme is to put a temporary footbridge in place while the old footbridge is repaired along with the steps leading up to it. There are no plans to install lifts for those who are disabled or have limited mobility. A couple of weeks before, Shropshire Council refused a licence for the only fully disabled access taxi in Ludlow because it did not meet the Euro 5 standard. You can’t get into a Ludlow Town Council meeting if you have severe mobility problems.
In Shropshire, the disabled remain second-class citizens. We must change this.
The damage to the historic fabric of Ludlow is almost as old as the buildings themselves. The damage has got worse over the years as permitted lengths and weights for HGVs have increased. But if you want to get Cakes to Pontefract, a current Tesco slogan, the best way to do it is through the centre of Ludlow. That moving advert for Tesco has slightly damaged a bollard with more significant damage to the truck.
I am lost for words here. Tesco has been a world leader in gathering computerising information on customer habits. It ensures its shelves are restocked the moment they empty. But it seems they don’t know where their stores are. Satnav anyone? A paper map? Or perhaps a Tesco mobile phone will help.
We are a naturally green county. That’s not just our verdant rolling hills. We have a huge green thinking community in Shropshire. That’s why it is frustrating that Shropshire Council is always in the slow lane when it comes to green technology.
I have already written about the council’s lack of interest in green verges. In an answer to another question on charging points for electric vehicles, the council says it is planning to install some. How many? Two. Roll out of extra charging points will depend on “evaluation”, “solving issues”, “clarity at a national level.” I don’t understand why roll out of EV is happening almost everywhere else but Shropshire.