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Shropshire bus users need assurances for the future - councillors

By Aimee Jones | Politics | Published:

Bus users in Shropshire need assurances that their service will be safe for the foreseeable future, according to councillors.

It comes after Shropshire Council bowed to public pressure and scrapped its plans to make drastic cuts to bus services across the county.

The authority has decided to save just £180,000 from its public transport budget, instead of the £405,000 it initially proposed.

Cabinet members agreed to the changes at a meeting today but it has not yet been revealed how exactly the savings will be met.

Councillor David Truner, for Much Wenlock, said that while he is pleased the council has listened to the response from the public, they now need assurances about the future.

"The folk who are using the 436 bus, which goes between Shrewsbury and Bridgnorth via Much Wenlock, need some assurance that this service is going to remain," he said.

"There are some people who use the bus to get to college in Shrewsbury and need to know if it's going to run for the duration of their course. We need these assurances as soon as possible."

'Chaos'

Labour leader, Councillor Alan Mosley, said the consultation has caused "chaos and confusion" which now needs to be addressed.

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"I'm really bemused by what's gone on," he said. "There are elements of complete and utter chaos here. The council has now decided not to make all of these savings, but this should have been sorted out before causing all of the upset and confusion for the public."

At the meeting at Shirehall, members also agreed to make £50,000 savings from the Shrewsbury Park & Ride, despite calls from Councillor Mosley to halt the plans.

As of September 1, the fare will go up from £1.60 to £2 and the group ticket option, which allows up to five passengers to travel together for £2.50 return, will be scrapped.

However, there were some last minute concessions which included not removing the discretionary discount for concessionary fares on the Park & Ride which allows passengers with a concessionary card to travel for a 50 per cent discount.

Portfolio holder for transport and highways, Councillor Steve Davenport, also revealed there are plans to replace the group ticket with a family ticket which would allow two adults and children to travel at a discounted rate.

Aimee Jones

By Aimee Jones
@aimeejones_star

Senior reporter based at the Shropshire Star's Shrewsbury office, covering Shrewsbury, North Shropshire and South Shropshire.

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