Category: Transport

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.

Shropshire Council plans to hike parking charges in Ludlow and across county

Shropshire Council is consulting on higher parking charges across the county, including in Ludlow. In Ludlow, on-street car parking costs will rise by an average of 13%. Hourly charges in Galdeford A car park (upper deck) will rise by 17%. In the lower decks (Galdeford B) and in the Smithfield car park, hourly charges will go up by 25%. Season tickets in Galdeford A will rise by between 15% and 17%. In Galdeford B and Smithfield, season ticket charges will rise by between 23% to 26%. The increase in season ticket charges in Galdeford B and Smithfield are well above inflation. They will be unwelcome news for workers and residents at a time when taxes, and energy and housing costs are rising rapidly.

Ludlow Town Council votes to oppose spending on North West Relief Road and Civic Centre

The North West Relief Road (NWRR) is possibly this county’s most controversial project. Conceived 40 years ago, the four mile road skirting around the edges of Shrewsbury is the sort of road that might have been build 40 years ago. It will bulldoze through precious biodiverse landscapes and confirm the commitment of Shropshire Council to the fossil fuelled era. Although the plans for the road are not within the remit of Ludlow Town Council, it was asked to comment on Shropshire Council’s budget for 2022/23. Shropshire Council is having to raid its reserves to balance books, while facing a liability of at least £30 million to top up the budget for the road which will cost at least £100 million. At the same time, Shropshire Council is proposing a new civic centre in Shrewsbury at a cost of around £37 million. Ludlow Town Council on Monday agreed to object to so much capital funding going into Shrewsbury at the expense of other areas of the county. It has called a community investment fund to support communities across the county, including by creating jobs that protect our county’s environment and its economy.

Excessive noise from vehicles is a problem in most of the market towns in Shropshire, and in many villages too. The noise comes from several sources including cars with modified engines and exhausts and motorbikes revving up to maximise noise. In Ludlow, as in other towns, we have long had issues with young racers rushing around the town and the Eco Park and with a minority of motorcyclists making excessive noise. Last Thursday, Shropshire Councillors agreed to seeking funding for an acoustic camera trial in Shropshire, with a view that is the scheme is successful, it would be rolled out across Shropshire. It is unlikely that Ludlow will host the trial, though I will bid for that, but we could seek funds from bodies such as the Police and Crime Commissioner’s office or draw on community infrastructure levy monies for our own scheme.

Hump with no bump: Ludlow Sandpits traffic calming scheme speeds up traffic!

After years of discussions, a road safety scheme has been installed by Shropshire Council outside Ludlow Primary School on Sandpits Road. It doesn’t work. If anything, it speeds up traffic approaching the school gates. “This is not the scheme we expected”, says Shropshire Councillor for Ludlow East Tracey Huffer. “After years of discussions, a scheme for improving road safety outside the school has been implemented. There are new signs and new road markings. The centrepiece of the scheme is a raised table, a wide road hump. But the table is too low. It has no effect on the speed of traffic. If anything, it is speeding traffic up because it is so smooth. It is a hump with no bump.” Tracey is now calling for an urgent site meeting with highways officers, parents and residents to discuss how the scheme can be improved. There has been a campaign for a safety scheme outside the school by parents, school governors and councillors for several years. The main concerns have been traffic travelling faster than is safe and careless parking. A scheme was approved a year ago and was installed after an extensive closure of Sandpits Road by Seven Trent Water and…

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