Category: Transport

Shropshire Council’s increase in car parking charges will hit Ludlow

Everyone is feeling the squeeze of rising food and fuel costs. The cost of electricity, gas and heating oil has soared and without action from the government, will soar further in October leading to a cold and miserable winter for many people. The Bank of England says that inflation could hit 10% this year. Yet Shropshire Council wants to increase car parking charges at the very point when people have less to spend on our high streets. Shropshire Council argues that costs must increase with inflation. I don’t buy that argument. The council has not made a case for additional funding for the car parks and the team that supports them. The largely automated system of charging for parking on streets and in car parks has reduced costs. The council should be cutting its budget not heaping more costs on shoppers, tourists and workers. Our retail and visitor economies were hit hard during the pandemic. Ludlow is bouncing back. The last thing we need is a hike in car parking charges. Shropshire Council’s consultation on the hike in charges ends this Friday, 20 May. You can comment here.

Final plans for EV charging points on Mill Street confirmed

Over the last year or so, there has been more than a little controversy over plans for two EV charging points in Mill Street. An early lack of consultation, the locations for the points being marked in the wrong place and a general resistance to parking spaces being used for visitors rather than residents all contributed to the fuss. Electrically powered cars are now commonplace. From 2030, petrol and diesel vehicles will no longer be sold in the UK, though hybrids can be sold until 2035. All new cars and vans be fully zero emission at the tailpipe from 2035. The car market is gearing up for this transition, despite short term difficulties in supply caused by the pandemic and the war in Ukraine. Progress is somewhat slower in installing EV charging points. The attitude that our town centre residential streets should not have EV charging points and they should only be in car parks for now cannot be sustained. With just eight years to go before petrol and diesel vehicles stop being sold, we need to get on with installing EV charging across the town. On the streets and in car parks. And in new developments where properties do…

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The Bull Ring is the most polluted street in Ludlow

Modelling data has recently been made available for air pollution across the UK. It allows us to map pollution around Ludlow. The modelling in many respects tells us what we already know. That the air pollution hot spots in Ludlow are on Corve Street, the Bull Ring, Old Street and much of the town centre. But it provides numbers on the estimated level of pollution, data that we can use to use in planning the transport future of the town. The data come from the Central Office of Public interest (COPI), which describes itself as a “creative industry alliance running the national awareness campaigns government should be running.” COPI has created a website at addresspollution.org where everyone can look up the estimated air pollution at their home, workplace or play area. I have used this site to compile a map of air pollution in Ludlow.

More A49 road works and overnight closures between Stokesay and Upper Affcot – May to June (updated)

There barely seems a moment when the A49 is not affected by roadworks. Keir, working for Highways England, will start the latest round on 25 April with the aim of completing the work by 17 June. Update: The commencement of these works has been delayed until 3 May. The aim is still to finish by 17 June. The work will include refurbishing existing traffic signals, which have reached the end of their serviceable life. The new lights will be LED lit to improve visibility, reducing the need for future maintenance and increasing energy efficiency. The road will also be resurfaced, including increasing the roads surface friction, and replacing the road markings and road studs. For a while there will be a temporary road surface in place. The completed work will provide a smoother surface and safer road, including clearer road markings. Repairs to the footpath and kerb will also take place following issues with localised flooding.

Shropshire Council loses bid for £98m Bus Back Better funding

News broke yesterday that Shropshire Council had lost its bid to the Bus Back Better fund. It is shocking news that Shropshire will not get a penny to support its struggling bus services. The county’s bus services are in urgent need of upgrading to an age that is moving to zero carbon. That must include putting more buses on the road, more frequent buses, electric buses and transport hubs that are fit for the 21st century. The council’s bid was in a glossier and shorter on targets that some successful bids. The endorsement from MPs might not have helped. When did they last get a bus in Shropshire? Or the council leadership for that matter? And why wasn’t a joint bid submitted with Telford and Wrekin (which aslo failed to gain funding). It is time the time the two councils worked together rather than competing. Buses are too often seen as a drain on the public purse. They should be seen as an essential public service. If people can get to medical services, the shops and to friends, they will be healthier and happier reducing costs to public services.

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