93,000 more passengers hop on board Telford buses following investment
The number of passengers choosing to use buses in Telford increased by more than 93,000 last year, bucking a national trend.
According to official figures from Arriva, throughout 2019 its fleet of vehicles carried 2.38 per cent more passengers in the borough compared to 2018.
This is despite a recent national trend which sees an overall decline in the number of people opting to use buses.
It comes after significant investment from Telford & Wrekin Council and Arriva over the last 18 months.
As part of the work, Route Four, a popular cross-town service from Leegomery to Madeley, has been launched with refurbished buses and on-street branding marking the bus stops along the route.
Oakengates Bus Station was also renovated at the end of 2019, with new, larger bus shelters to accommodate more passengers and ease traffic when buses arrive together.
New lighting has also been installed, enabling better illumination of the station and increasing passengers’ safety.
Additional improvement work at the station has been further carried out at the beginning of this year.
Within each of the new bus shelters, ‘real time information’ screens for arrivals and departures of journeys have been provided to inform passengers when their bus is due.
In more than 15 bus stops where these screens are not installed, a trial is currently in place based on ‘QR’ codes.
As such, by scanning the ‘QR code’ displayed at the stop with a smartphone, passengers get information on when their bus is due, enabling them to plan their journey more accurately.
Councillor David Wright, cabinet member for transport, said: “Our continuous partnership with Arriva Midlands provides an enhanced bus service in our borough, making people’s bus journeys more comfortable and easier to plan.
“We are delighted that as a result, increasingly more people choose to travel by bus in Telford & Wrekin - despite the national bus service usage decline.
“We are committed to further continue in investing and improving our public transport service.
“Our collaboration with Arriva will see other initiatives unveiled in the coming months, not only benefitting bus users, but also helping to reduce congestion on Telford & Wrekin roads and as such, the borough’s carbon footprint for a better and cleaner environment.”
Jamie Crowsley, Arriva Shropshire’s general manager said: “Great news to be able to celebrate an increase in Telford & Wrekin bus passengers, when we experience a decline in numbers in other regions.
“This is all due to the hard work we’ve put in together with Telford & Wrekin Council for providing more accessible, comfortable and easier to plan bus journeys across the borough.
“This is really the start of the journey, we aim to continue to work together with the council so that even more people in Telford & Wrekin choose our services.”
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