Market Drayton and Whitchurch some of the worst served towns of their size for buses

North Shropshire towns are some of the worst-served of their size in the country when it comes to public transport, damning new figures suggest.

John Hargreaves from Market Drayton Climate Action hears the views of a bus user
John Hargreaves from Market Drayton Climate Action hears the views of a bus user

It comes as Market Drayton Climate Action (MDCA) is running a bus survey to document people's experiences using public transport – and what they would like to have available.

Its purpose is to provide evidence of demand in the area for bus services and everyone local to the town has been encouraged to take part.

Findings suggest that people in and around Market Drayton would travel more by bus if more services were reliably available.

Public transport users were met by members of the local action group at last Wednesday's market, to share their thoughts about the bus situation.

Belinda Sprigg, transport spokesperson for MDCA, said: "Market Drayton is increasingly cut off from the rest of the world for anyone not in a car as more bus services are cut.

"It’s a downward spiral, because without regular services people won’t use the bus, and then more routes are cut because of lack of demand.

"We want to provide evidence that this could be turned around if bus timetables were planned to meet people’s needs.

"We urge everyone to fill in the form, so we will be stronger in arguing for the services the town needs."

Residents in the town have until the end of September to submit their views in the survey, which can be found online or at Market Drayton Library.

Market Drayton’s bus service provision is one of the worst in the UK, according to an analysis by the House of Commons Library.

The town has only a fraction of weekday bus departures compared to similar-sized towns, and there are no buses running on Sundays.

According to analysis, Whitchurch and Market Drayton are both in the bottom 10 per cent of towns of their size when it comes to the number of departures each weekday.

The average number of departures in English towns with a similar population – 10,000 to 20,000 people - is 306 each weekday.

But Market Drayton has an average of 74 departures and Whitchurch just 66.

The issue has been taken up by Helen Morgan MP, who has tabled a bill in the House of Commons which would make the Government responsible for ensuring that every town with a population of over 10,000 has bus services that connect people with hospitals and GP surgeries running each day of the week.

The North Shropshire MP said: "It is staggering that it is 2022 and yet the people of north Shropshire are forced to fork out for a taxi to access something as basic as a GP appointment if they do not drive.

"If you live in a rural area and need to get to hospital there are no buses and no trains to get you there."

Market Drayton Climate Action has already published recommendations for what it says is the minimum bus service needed, including hourly buses to Whitchurch to provide links to a rail station as well as medical care.

To take part in the bus survey visit

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