Shrewsbury Park and Ride changes 'a retrograde step'
Bus cuts and a jump in the cost of Shrewsbury's park and ride will take centre stage at a town council meeting tomorrow.
Leader of the town council, Alan Moseley, says increasing ticket prices for park and ride would be a massive step backwards for Shrewsbury and would fly in the face of local ambitions for a traffic-free centre and international climate change fears.
Shropshire Council has launched a six-week consultation into proposed £455,000 reductions to its public transport budget, which would see a reduction in the number and frequency of bus services subsidised by the Council and changes to Shropshire Park and Ride.
The latter, to save £50,000 alone, proposes increasing the return fare for the Park and Ride service from its current level of £1.60 to £2 and removing the group ticket which allows for up to five passengers to travel for the price of £2.50.
It would also remove the concessionary fare discount that allows passengers on presentation of their concessionary card to travel for half price.
At Shrewsbury Guildhall tomorrow night the town council's planning committee will consider making representations to Shropshire Council over the proposed reductions in subsidies.
Although not a member of the planning committee Councillor Moseley said he had massive concerns over the proposals and would be going to the meeting to speak.
"This is so important I will be urging fellow councillors to send a strong message to Shropshire," he said.
"It would be a massive step backwards in the development of the town."
Councillor Moseley said that the Shrewsbury Big Town Plan was a collective vision and plan for its future.
"Everybody's hope for the Big Town Plan is that the town centre is made as free as possible from traffic. But the Park and Ride proposals fly in the face of those ambitions.
"It is a retrograde step to force people to use their cars."
He said as well as park and ride he was concerned about proposed cuts in subsidies to rural bus routes.
"These would leave more and more people, young and old, isolated."
"It is vital that will look as these proposals in line with the climate change resolution that we made at a recent town council meeting. There we called for emergency action to address the difficulties that the world is facing through climate change. Shrewsbury town council has committed to becoming a carbon free council."
Shrewsbury will hold hold its town meeting on April 29 when, Councillor Moseley said, a substantial part of the meeting would be given over to how it could implement that action on climate change.