Shropshire bus cuts are 'bad news', say passengers

Cuts to a bus service that helps connect rural communities with the rest of Shropshire are "bad news", a bus user has said.

Shropshire bus cuts are 'bad news', say passengers

Telford & Wrekin Council is withdrawing its funding for the 341/342 cross-border route to Market Drayton – meaning areas including Langley Dale, near Stoke on Tern, would be left without any bus service.

Dave Cintas, 64, who lives in Langley Dale, uses the service three to four times a week in order to go to football matches and Market Drayton Men's Shed Club, a social club in the town.

He said: "I lost my driving licence about three years ago after being diagnosed with glaucoma.

"Since then I have been using the bus to get around. The bus keeps me going.

"It is bad news they are cutting the service as to get a bus now I would have to walk to Hodnet or Tern Hill which are about two to three miles away.

"Four or five people who get the bus cannot drive so they are now cut off as well.

"In an ideal world a community group would take over the running of the service – that is what we are all hoping.

"It would be good to see a community-run service. There needs to be something for 80 passengers left without a bus service."

Telford & Wrekin Council is to cut its funding of bus services by nearly £1 million over the next five years after awarding the contract to run bus routes in the borough to Arriva for the next five years.

The council will only pay £2 million over the term, a cut of 30 per cent.

Council bosses said the 341/342 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."

A list of all the subsidised bus routes that Telford & Wrekin Council will subsidise is available at www.telford.gov.uk/busroutes

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