The A4117 will be closed at Far Forest between Cleobury Mortimer and Bewdley this coming Friday from 9:30am to 4:00pm. This is for emergency road repairs. That’s fine because the repairs are needed. What is not fine is the suspension of the 292 bus service between Ludlow and Kidderminster from 9:30am to 3:30pm. Council transport officers said yesterday: “During the closure the service won’t be able to operate due to the unsuitability of the diversion for the bus.”

Rubbish. The advertised diversion is perfectly suitable for the Optare buses that run along the route.

The roadworks are necessary. No argument. But cancellation of three of the six daily services between Ludlow and Kidderminster is not acceptable.

The advertised diversion is via the B4202 from Mawley Oak Garage to Clows Top. There the bus will join the A456 towards Bewdley. The B4202 is a two lane road with no difficult bends or constrictions. It is perfectly suitable for the Optare buses that service the route.

The diversion will add 2.5 miles to a 30 mile route. The route already struggles to keep to time. That suggests an emergency timetable is needed. We might need to take out one bus journey during the closure period. But we must keep a service running throughout the day.

I have asked Shropshire Council to look into the planned cancellations. Time is short but I hope we can get something sorted out today.

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