Shropshire commuter clashes with bus firm on fares ruling

Commuter Lee Stephens thinks he knows exactly where he lives in Shropshire, but a county bus company is adamant it knows better.

Is it fare? Lee Stephens knows where he is – and the timetable concurs – but the bus company wants 10p more
Is it fare? Lee Stephens knows where he is – and the timetable concurs – but the bus company wants 10p more

Lee's address is listed as Cross Bank, Church Stretton, and even Minsterley Motors acknowledges on its bus stop in the road that is the correct address.

The 37-year-old said, however, that drivers from the company had repeatedly insisted to him that Cross Bank was in Little Stretton and so his regular trips into Shrewsbury would cost him 10p more than the £2.70 fare from Church Stretton.

Arguments over exactly where Cross Bank is finally came to a head when Lee said a driver refused to let him on the Minsterley Motors 435 service from Ludlow to Shrewsbury when it pulled up at the stop in his road unless he paid the additional 10p.

Lee claimed the driver threatened to call police if he did board without paying £2.80 and so, as he did not want to pay the extra, the bus left without him.

Jobless Lee said he needs to go into Shrewsbury regularly to attend a job agency and try to find work but is now effectively banned from Minsterley Motors' 345 service

He said: "I can't believe it. "I know it's only 10p but it's a matter of principle.

"Cross Bank is in Church Stretton, everyone knows that.

"It is listed everywhere as Church Stretton and even the bus company has 'Church Stretton, Cross Bank' written on its timetable on the bus stop. I contacted Minsterley Motors after the latest row but the company is insistant that Cross Bank is in Little Stretton."

A Shropshire Council spokeswoman said: "According to our highways people, Cross Bank is in Church Stretton."

The council lists the stop in question as being "Church Stretton, Cross Bank, opp, Brockhurst Wood" in the bus timetable information on its website.

John Jones, of Minsterley Motors, said: "We don't have a fare stage for Cross Bank. The fare stage is Little Stretton because that is the stop immediately before it, just about 100 yards away.

"Timetables are different from fare stages.

"This is absolutely pathetic. It is only 10p we're talking about."

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