Transport boss defends 'aspiration' of getting rid of Shrewsbury bus station

A transport boss who faced criticism over suggesting there is no need for a town centre bus station has laid out his aspirations for "greener" travel in Shrewsbury.

Councillor Steve Davenport
Councillor Steve Davenport

Councillor Steve Davenport, Shropshire Council's cabinet member for highways, was criticised by Green party members over suggestions the town wouldn't need a bus station if a coloured bus route scheme was brought into place.

They accused Shropshire Council of not engaging with bus users over the possibility of getting rid of the Raven Meadows station as part of the Big Town Plan, and said the site is essential.

But Councillor Davenport insists that leaving passengers with less options is "the exact opposite" of what he would like to see, and believes his vision including coloured bus routes, more electric buses and integrated park and ride services could make for a greener and better service for the public.

He said: "I want us to have a greener service. I want us to have electric buses.

"I don't want diesel buses driving into town. My view is we should have three bus stations out of town and have park and ride services using electric buses going into town. We would have coloured routes going round the estates.

"We need to do something better than what's been done before. The whole idea of the North West Relief Road and expanding the park and ride is to provide a better service and keep the traffic out of the town centre.

"I've not got it all down on paper, but we have aspirations for greener urban travel."

Councillor Davenport's comments came after Green party member Professor John Whitelegg, who is editor of the World Transport Policy and Practice journal, said “The deletion of a bus station is contrary to public transport best practice in the UK, Europe and globally.

"It deprives bus users of convenient interchange between buses and will make any intervention to deal with climate change by switching car trips to bus much more difficult."

Fellow Green Councillor Julian Dean, added: “We need to see leadership and imagination. A great transport hub close to shops could be a proper town centre alternative to car-dependant out of town shopping. Imagine a great bus station, plus supermarket, plus river view, plus elevator to the Pride Hill."

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