Wheels on the Shropshire Hills Shuttle set to go round and round one more time
Operators of a Shropshire Hills weekend shuttle bus have set a target of 40 passengers a day to make the service sustainable in the longer term.
The Shropshire Hills AONB Partnership is welcoming passengers on board the shuttle buses around the beautiful landscape for a new season with a new route and simplified ticketing.
Holders of concessionary passes will no longer be able to use it for free.
Wheels on this year's bus service will be going round and round again from Saturday, May 27.
From Saturday through to Sunday October 8 the service will be running on routes around the Long Mynd and crossing the Stiperstones, every weekend.
A new timetable has been designed to fit closely to other weekend bus and train services. This allows visitors the flexibility to travel from Shrewsbury, Craven Arms, Bishop’s Castle and Ludlow to catch the bus.
A spokesperson for the Shropshire Hills AONB Partnership said: "We are hoping the new service will be welcomed by regular users of the old service, attract new users, and provide new ways to enjoy this outstanding landscape.
"We have set ourselves the target of 40 passengers a day to make the service sustainable for the longer term.
"Please help us achieve this by using the bus, and telling your friends, family and visitors about it."
They are also asking people to let them know what you think of the new service too by commenting on the Facebook site (ShrophillsAONB) or contacting through the website https://www.shropshirehillsaonb.co.uk/explore-and-enjoy/activities/shropshire-hills-shuttle-buses
The new route, Round the Mynd, links with the existing route, the Cross Mynd Shuttle, and has been created in response to public demand for more access to villages and walks in the area.
Route A ‘Round the Mynd’ will run once in the morning, starting at All Stretton just before 10am, and do a ‘clockwise’ circuit linking Carding Mill Valley, Church Stretton railway station and the communities south of Little Stretton around the bottom of the Mynd.
Once at Bridges, the bus takes its usual journey westwards passing the Bog, Stiperstones village, and Snailbeach Mine to terminate at Plox Green (with connections to the Shrewsbury – Bishop’s Castle bus).
From here the bus returns to Bridges and its route around the Mynd continues clockwise – but with a new link, as it drops down through Woolstaston to Leebotwood and the A49. The circuit terminates at Carding Mill Valley, but passengers wanting to return to the station can stay on board.
Route B The Cross Mynd Shuttle will cross the Mynd in the early afternoon following the usual route via the Burway and Shooting Box to Bridges then on to the Bog and Snailbeach. It returns on the same route as Route A, again linking to Leebotwood, The Pound Inn, and the 435 bus service.
There are some great walks from, and between, the shuttle stops – passengers can stride out across the Long Mynd, explore the Golden Valley, hike along the Stiperstones ridge, or stroll along the easy access trail at the Bog.
Councillor Robert Macey, Shropshire Council’s cabinet member for culture and digital, said: “The shuttle bus service is an excellent way for people to access the Shropshire Hills and enjoy a day out and about exploring our beautiful countryside and welcoming towns and villages.
“They are an ideal way to get to the starting points for walks, and to catch a ride home with weary legs after you have spent a day exploring. The shuttle service also helps keep traffic down and helps protect our environment.”
Charges apply for all journeys, but the costs have been reduced. The service is cash only, but season tickets are available in advance.
There is a range of tickets available:
Adult single ticket £2 for one stop, and £4 for a multi-stop.
Adult Day Rover £5, (allows you to hop on and off any service, all day)
Child Day Rover £3 (allows you to hop on and off any service, all day)
Family Day Rover (2 adults + up to 3 children) £10, additional child £3
Season ticket £50 (allowing unlimited travel throughout the season).
A printed timetable will be available from Carding Mill Valley, Church Stretton Visitor Information Centre, The Bog Centre, as well as pubs and retailers along the route.
The buses are managed by the Shropshire Hills AONB Partnership, with funding support from Shropshire Council, and operated by local bus company Boultons Coaches.