Protesting pensioners have hit out at Arriva Midlands for making changes to their bus route which, they claim, have turned journeys of five minutes into ones lasting for more than an hour.
Arriva changed the route of the No 27 bus that runs through Bayston Hill last year so it no longer runs in both directions, despite protests from villagers.
The service no longer loops back through a large part of Bayston Hill.
This means many residents cannot return home after making their original journey without going through Shrewsbury.
The Shropshire Seniors organisation say the ‘ludicrous situation’ means many older residents who struggle to walk long distances face taking a lengthy detour through Shrewsbury town centre if they need to get to the centre of the village to go to the shops or the doctor’s.
Anne Roberts, 79, who lives in the village and is registered blind, said: “I hope something will change soon as it really is awful.”
She said that it can be hard for people of her age to get into the centre of the village without the help of a regular bus service.
Mrs Roberts said she had to walk 25 minutes in bad weather to take her dog to the vets. She added: “You can wait 40 minutes for the bus, though they are supposed to be every quarter of an hour. I waited at the bus stop for 40 minutes in the pouring rain. The one thing we really we want to stress is we need a bus back down the village.”
Arriva bosses said today they are currently ‘reviewing the timetable’.
Brian Church, a spokesman for Shropshire Seniors, said: “Some residents are in their 90s, they don’t have a car any more and can’t afford daily taxis.
“We’re mystified why Arriva appears to be going out of its way to pick on loyal and regular customers.”
Mr Church said the changed route means travellers face a 40-minute round trip, with waiting times adding up to 45 minutes.
The group is planning a Millenium Protest where residents whose ages add up to 1,000 years will protest outside Arriva offices each week. Keith Myatt, a spokesman for Arriva Midlands, said the firm is currently reviewing the timetable.Subscribe to our Newsletter