Category: Transport

Helen Morgan MP tables bill on improving rural bus services

Buses are the cinderella of transport. We hear a lot about trains, the inconvenience of delays, strikes and buckled rails. But we don’t hear much about buses. Yet there were more than four billion local bus passenger journeys in England in the year ending March 2020 before the pandemic. Numbers inevitably declined during the pandemic and have not yet recovered to pre-pandemic levels, especially among concessionary pass passengers. Many rural areas do not have a local train service. Rural buses are literally a lifeline. But unlike services in some cities, rural buses have been in steep decline. On Wednesday, Helen Morgan MP for North Shropshire, presented a bill to parliament with the aim of ensuring people living in market towns can access hospitals, GPs and other services by public transport every day of the week.

Lift at Ludlow Station to be installed by March 2024

Ludlow councillors and Philip Dunne have been working towards getting a lift installed at Ludlow Station for several years. The lift was approved under the Access for All Scheme in April 2019. Since then, it has gone rather quiet. Earlier this week I asked Network Rail what the current situation is. The response is: “The aim is to deliver the new Access for All footbridge at Ludlow station by March 2024 to meet DfT funding timescales. We have engaged a contractor to take forward detailed design and will share drawings when these become available.” This very good news though I wish it could be sooner.

Hot, hot, hot, dogs and early bin collections

The UK Health Security Agency has issued a Level 4 alert for the first time. That declares a national emergency. The Met Office has issued its first Red Alert for extreme heat. A Met Office Red Alert is in place for Monday and Tuesday across central and south east England, including east Shropshire. Other areas of England and Wales have an Orange Alert. Temperatures in some areas are expected to zoom to 40°C, in Ludlow to 37°C. These are the levels of heat people fly abroad for but we are ill adapted to high temperatures in this country where our angst is mostly about the cold and wet. There are concerns that vulnerable people will suffer in the heat and that some may even die. Animals too could suffer. Please don’t walk dogs between mid-morning and the evening and never leave them in a car, even with the windows open. Disruption to rail travel is expected. Waste and recycling will be collected as early as 6am. Store some water in case of disruption to supplies.

Rail services through Ludlow disrupted and suspended for a week

There seems little prospect of this week’s rail strikes being called off. Although workers at Transport for Wales are not striking, many at Network Rail are. As Transport for Wales uses Network Rail services, almost all its services will be cancelled on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Services on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, will be subject to some cancellations and overcrowding. Overcrowding is also expected today and on Monday 27 June. The advice is not to travel.

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.

Back to top