Fears that Oswestry will lose bus station in 'gateway' plans

Oswestry's bus station and coach park could be lost as part of a vision to improve the northern gateway to the town.

 Oswestry Bus Station, off Oswald Road, sandwiched between Aldi and the former Morrisons store
Oswestry Bus Station, off Oswald Road, sandwiched between Aldi and the former Morrisons store

Bus operators say they are worried that the station in Oswald Road could go, replaced by bus stops in the town, while they say losing the coach layover would give drivers nowhere to rest between journeys.

The doubts follow fears that Shrewsbury Bus Station and bus layover at Raven Meadows could also go as part of the Shrewsbury Big Town Plan.

Two bus firms that use the facilities in Oswestry say they are keen to work with Shropshire Council to improve bus travel.

Oswestry's Town Plan 2020 includes a 'review and operation' of the Oswestry Road Coach Park and a review of the town centre bus stops as part of the redevelopment of the Gobowen Road northern entrance to the town.

Councillor Steve Charmley, deputy leader of Shropshire Council and portfolio holder for assets, economic growth and regeneration, said: “We are looking to support this important gateway into the town and are working with partners in the Future Oswestry Group as part of an aspirational wider vision for the area.

“No decisions have been made regarding the future of any council-owned land at this stage and would only be taken after a period of engagement.

“We are currently consulting on plans to significantly lower the cost of parking at the car park at the former Morrisons store, which would help ease parking issues for staff and patients at the nearby Minor Injuries Unit.”

Thought

A spokesman for Tanat Valley Coaches, which runs a number of bus services to and from Oswestry, said it feared the bus station could be lost to the redevelopment of the area around it, including the former Morrisons store next door.

"There needs to be a great deal of thought about the area and we would be happy to work with the Future Oswestry Group on any plans or ideas it may have," a spokesman said.

"If the bus stations were lost in Oswestry and Shrewsbury people would be more inclined to use their cars and those who have not got their own transport, as always, would be disadvantaged.

"If we lost the bus layovers then where would buses and drivers of rural services which have a gap in timetables, park up."

"Any changes could affect the travelling public and pus companies operating in and out of the bus station."

Bus companies have to pay 50p per departure for each journey, giving the Oswestry bus station a believed yearly income of around £15,000.

Simon Mathieson area managing director for Arriva said: “We are in discussions with Shropshire Council on how we can both work together and are looking forward to working in partnership to improve bus travel in the county.”

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