Shropshire Star

'Don't shoot the messenger' plea over huge response to walking and cycling in plans Ludlow

A Shropshire councillor has appealed to the public "not to shoot the messenger" after plans to promote walking and cycling provoked a huge response.

A Shropshire Council graphic for the plans

Shropshire Council is currently consulting on draft plans to promote sustainable forms of travel in seven towns across the county, including Ludlow.

Councillor Andy Boddington, who represents Ludlow's north ward, said he has received more than 1,000 comments through email, Facebook and his blog.

"Not all the comments have been friendly in tone," said Councillor Boddington.

"Please don’t shoot the messenger. Please don’t assume I support the council’s position. I don’t. People in Ludlow are more informed about the proposals than any other town in the county because I have devoted a lot of time to seeking your views."

Councillor Boddington added that the proposals "show what goes wrong when outside consultants are brought in to dream up schemes more at home in large cities than small, historic towns like Ludlow".

“There was no consultation with the local community and councillors while the plans were being drawn up," he said.

"If there had been, the Shropshire Council would have realised that some schemes are madness, some are impractical and some would meet strong local opposition.

“The strongest opposition has been to proposals to close King Street to traffic. It is very narrow and the pavements more so. If it is closed, along with High Street as the consultants suggest, access to the town centre for buses and deliveries would be blocked. We closed King Street during the pandemic but even with the low traffic volumes then, it led to traffic problems in other areas of the town.

“I would welcome a trial closure of King Street on Saturdays. We should also work to reduce the amount of traffic using the street."

Councillor Boddington claimed that there is "no consideration of disability in the plans".

"More than one in five people in Ludlow are disabled," he said.

"That rises to one in three for those aged 65 and over. In this day and age, it is wrong to develop and plans for getting around and about without putting disability at the centre.

“Walking and cycling schemes work well in cities and large towns, where there is space to segregate cars and vans from cycles and pedestrians.

“We need to improve walking and cycling proposals in Ludlow and the surrounding area. We need plans that are more practical and more sensitive to the needs of our historic town and its residents.”

A six-week consultation into Shropshire’s draft first Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP) is being carried out.

It focuses on seven key market towns – Shrewsbury, Oswestry, Bridgnorth, Market Drayton, Church Stretton, Ludlow and Whitchurch.

At the launch of the plan, Councillor Ian Nellins, Shropshire Council’s cabinet member for climate change, environment and transport, said the development of the first draft Shropshire LCWIP, in line with Government guidance, establishes the strategic approach to identifying and delivering a high-quality network of cycling routes and walking measures across Shropshire, with a focus on the seven key market towns.

“LCWIPs are increasingly being seen as a key requirement to access Department for Transport funding, so this new plan will strengthen our case for future Government funding for cycling and walking," he said.

“We really will need people to share their views and tell us what they think about our draft LCWIP.

"Public feedback, particularly about the proposed routes and interventions for each area, will help ensure the network accurately responds to demand from local communities.”

Future events include two online webinars covering the proposals for each of the seven towns (at 6pm on May 18 and 25) and workshops with schools to get the opinions of children and young people (details to be confirmed).

For more information in how to get involved in the consultation visit