Shropshire Council has stepped in to extend its financial support for twelve bus services that were under threat after March, saving them from closure. These include the Ludlow 701 town service, the 435 between Ludlow and Shrewsbury and the 552 between Bishop’s Castle and Shrewsbury.

The extra support from the council comes after it failed to get government funds for buses under levelling up for a second time. It is expected that the funding will be in place until at least the end of the summer.

This is a welcome intervention by the council. If we had lost these routes many people would become isolated in their homes and would struggle to get to medical services, the shops, to see their friends and to get to work.

The government is also continuing support for buses, extending its pandemic Bus Recovery Grant and the £2 cap on single fares until the end of June.

Passenger numbers on some routes have not recovered since the pandemic. High fuel prices are another threat to bus services, as is the driver shortage. The driver shortage particularly affects rural towns like Ludlow where the two town routes too often run as a single 701/722 services because a driver is not available. This is difficult for passengers who don’t know when the bus is coming. Those using using the park and ride face a 40 minute return journey from town, which will not encourage its use. The news that several services will now continue until at least the end of the summer will help recruitment in rural areas.

This is the third time Shropshire Council has stepped in to support the county’s buses.

We urgently need a long term programme to ensure our buses survive and thrive. This was the aim of two failed bids for government levelling up funding, which seem to have been failed because the council leadership packed them with other projects making the council’s bid bloated and unfundable.

The levelling up bid would have created a demand response minibus or small bus service for rural areas, with the aim of getting to passengers within 20minutes, though pre-booking would be required in some of the more remote areas. The bid would have transformed the park and ride service in Shrewsbury by providing buses that connect the hospital and other areas of the town, as well as the town centre. Strengthened services between the county’s town.

Shropshire Council is likely to submit a third bid for levelling up funding. This time it should make buses its top priority and, given only one of four schemes was funded last time, submit a bus only bid. Only that way can we level up the rural county. We must ensure that people in rural areas can get around the county, including medical services, without being car dependent.

A cross-party group of Shropshire Councillors, of which I am a member, meets regularly to discuss and consider ways to improve public transport in the council area.

The services that will continue to receive support from 1 April are:

  • 113/4/5/6: Bridgnorth to Telford
  • 125: Highley to Bridgnorth
  • 20: Radbrook Green
  • 435: Shrewsbury to Ludlow
  • 436: Bridgnorth to Shrewsbury
  • 53: Ellesmere to Oswestry
  • 544/546: Little Lyth and Pulverbatch
  • 552/553: Shrewsbury to Bishops Castle
  • 64: Market Drayton to Shrewsbury
  • 701: Ludlow Town Service
  • 745A/B: Pontesbury, Clun, Bishops Castle and Ludlow 9: Wolverhampton to Bridgnorth.
One thought on “Bus services in Ludlow and Shropshire saved – for now”
  1. Wouldn’t extending the bus subsidy be a better use of funds than another study into tourism in the county?

Comments are closed.

Discover more from

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading