Shropshire Star

Telford bus services under threat after council cuts funding by £1 million

Telford & Wrekin Council will cut its funding of bus services by nearly £1 million over the next five years - putting key services under threat.


Bosses have confirmed the contract to run bus routes in the borough has been awarded to Arriva for the next five years.

But the council - which has paid £2.8 million to subsidise bus services in the last five years - will only pay £2 million over the next term, a cut of 30 per cent.

Local authority chiefs say the man on the street will see hardly any change to services despite the cut in cash - but admit it could have an impact on two services further down the line.

One - the 341/342 cross-border route to Market Drayton - is used by people living in rural areas on the outskirts of Telford to get to the Princess Royal Hospital and into Wellington.

Telford & Wrekin is withdrawing its funding for the service.

Council bosses said the service was contracted by Shropshire Council and any final decision on the future of the service would be up to them.

Councillor Angela McClements, cabinet member for transport at Telford & Wrekin Council, said bosses would continue to liaise with their counterparts in Shropshire on how the impact on the potential removal of the 341/342 service could be minimised.

She said: "The council is currently looking at options for providing an alternative community transport service for residents in the borough to ensure that access is maintained to Princess Royal Hospital and Wellington from the rural areas currently served by the 341/342."

The number five cross-border route to Stafford will also no longer be subsidised by the council on a Sunday.

Staffordshire County Council has pledged to continue to operate the service until at least September so bus users will see no change to the route in the short term.

But after that date the future of the service will be dependent on continued funding from Staffordshire. The number five will continue to operate Monday to Saturday as normal.

Councillor McClements said: "I am delighted that we have been able to retain so much of the subsidised network, while also making a significant saving over the next five years.

"At a time when many councils are withdrawing some or all of their subsidised routes in the face of the government grant cuts, it's a credit to all involved that we have been able to make such savings and keep the vast majority of our routes, which can be a lifeline for many people.

"Thanks to Staffordshire County Council, bus users will still have a Sunday service to Stafford until September at least.

"Further communication on changes to the 341/342 and community transport alternatives will follow shortly alongside on-going discussion with affected residents and parish councils."

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.