New Ludlow Leominster 490 bus service from 1 September 2014

Update

Extra buses were introduced by Herefordshire Council on 11 May 2015. Up to date timetables.

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After Shropshire Council refused to support the 492 service between Hereford and Ludlow, the service ends on Sunday 30 August. On the new 490 route, buses will only come into Ludlow four times a day, and not at all at the weekend (the timetable is below).

I am really quite shocked that we are to lose this popular bus service. The plan is that the 490 will run the 19 miles from Leominster to Orleton and then turn back without servicing Ludlow. It will only come to town twice a day to drop off and pick up college students. There will be no service at all at weekends and during the school vacations.

This bus brings a lot of people into town, not just from villages in Herefordshire, but also from Overton, Batchcott and Richard’s Castle. These settlements will have no bus service at all, except for the school run which is not convenient for many people. The route is also popular with walkers and with visitors who use the new Ludlow Touring Park at Overton.

I asked Claire Wild, the portfolio holder for transport if Shropshire Council would fund the final five miles into Ludlow. Council officers replied that it does not currently subsidise the 492 and it is not prepared to do so in the future.

If we cut off villages from bus services, they will just become settlements of holiday homes and wealthy weekenders. We will lose the mix of people that makes villages vibrant and alive.

See also Shropshire Star: Fight to Save Ludlow bus service.

Viv Parry is raising a petition to get a decent service restored between Ludlow and Orleton, including to the touring caravan park: vivienne.parry@shropshire.gov.uk.

There is much better news on on the 292 service to Kidderminster, which will become the 2L and run more frequently.

490 Leominster Oreleton Ludlow Service (PDF)

Foldgate Road housing – notes on a public meeting

Many thanks to Councillor Viv Parry for organising a public meeting this afternoon on plans for up to 150 houses off Foldgate Lane. More than 60 people attended, mostly neighbours and near neighbours of the proposed development.

Foldgate_Lane_public_meeting_Viv_1000

The meeting was called to allow residents to air views and explain how the planning process works from hereon.

A good number of issues were raised.

The sewers already struggle to cope. The drainage from the Tuffins/Squirrel development which runs at the back of Greenacres overflows violently in stormy conditions. Concerns were raised about the stability of the railway line in flooding events.

The infrastructure of the town, GPs, schools and roads cannot cope with continued expansion.

Foldgate Lane is a haven for wildlife, including bats. Although the developers plan to keep traffic off the lane, its character and environmental qualities are bound to be eroded by the development. There are badger sets in the fields.

There were great fears that the proposal of 150 homes would be increased, doubled or more by the eventual developer.

The main access to the site from the A49 – a T-junction – would be unsafe. There was concern that the landowner, though not apparently the developer, wants access either by a road or a path from Greenacres through an existing property.

On a show of hands, six people said they favoured some sort of development on the Foldgate Lane site; everyone else opposed any development at all.

I attended as an observer and to explain the planning process. I cannot take a view on this application until it comes before the South Planning Committee of which I am a member.