Shropshire Star

Shrewsbury green transport schemes set to launch this summer

Two innovative travel schemes will launch in Shrewsbury later this year in a bid to ferry visitors around the town’s roads – and river.

An artists impression of a two-way bus corridor on Dogpole, Shrewsbury launched as part of the town\'s movement strategy concept. (Shrewsbury BID/Handout)

Organisers say the pilot projects will get under way this summer, with an eco-friendly electric bus service set to serve the town centre while visitors commuting between the town centre and the West Mid Showground will be able to do so by water taxi.

The trial river scheme, set to run from the Welsh Bridge, will allow Showground visitors to commute into town more quickly using a form of transport which those behind the scheme say is easier and more attractive.

“The river taxi is a river shuttle between Frankwell and the Showground to enable people who stay at the show-ground, which is the biggest accommodation provider [in Shrewsbury] in the summer months, to make the journey into town more easily in way which is more attractive and fun,” said Seb Slater, from town business organisation Shrewsbury BID.

“It’s the most obvious way we can use the river as a method of transport. The town is quite compact so you can walk across it quite quickly whereas this journey is around 15 minutes on foot – but with this it’s a quick hop across in Frankwell and you can be there in five and that’s quite a time saver, so it’s the biggest opportunity for the river.”

The pilot schemes come on the back of a consultation on the emerging Shrewsbury Movement Strategy, a raft of transport proposals launched this year aimed at developing a ten-year-plan to reduce through traffic in Shrewsbury and improve transport links across the town centre.

As well as creating closed “traffic loops” to reduce the amount of people driving through the town centre, stand out elements being considered in the movement strategy include enhanced bus provision within the town centre “loop” – and a hop-on, hop-off water taxi service on the River Severn.

Shrewsbury BID also say they are in talks with Shropshire Council over the provision of a free electric bus service, which will provide a “looping” service around the town centre to gauge demand for a more permanent scheme.

“We think we can do a trial this summer which will run for two or three months every day and will just be looping around as a free service, just to see if there are people who need to that service that runs from the periphery into town,” added Mr Slater.

A consultation on the Shrewsbury Movement Strategy launched in January closed last month, with organisers describing the response from the general public to the proposals as “pleasing”.

The strategy has been developed by the Shrewsbury Big Town Plan Partnership, made up of Shropshire Council, Shrewsbury Town Council and Shrewsbury BID.