'Nonsense excuse' criticised amid Ludlow park and ride row

A civic leader left "livid" over a perceived free park and ride snub for his town has hit back at the "nonsense excuse" for the decision.

Ludlow park and ride
Ludlow park and ride

Ludlow was not given a free fortnight of park and ride services, while Shrewsbury was, prompting Councillor Andy Boddington to criticise the call and accuse Shropshire Council of having no interest in the south Shropshire town.

The council's transport portfolio holder, Councillor Steve Davenport, said that Ludlow had "not been forgotten", and was only not included this time due to Covid safety issues around the bus making multiple stops.

He added that the town will get free park and ride "further down the line", likely when restrictions are eased again.

But Councillor Boddington said Councillor Davenport was "desperate for excuses", and that Ludlow needs the help sooner rather than later to help kickstart its recovery from the pandemic.

He said: "It's nonsense. Just because it stops, it doesn't mean it can't be Covid-safe. If they're that concerned, they could put another bus on - but that would cost money.

"They are desperate for excuses because they forgot about Ludlow when they were drawing up the deal for Shrewsbury.

"They don't realise how wonderful Ludlow is, with all of its independent shops. We're trying to promote Ludlow, and offering free park and ride would have been that little bit extra.

"There's an issue with car parking at the moment because the Smithfield car park has been taken over as a test and trace centre. Of course the pandemic has to take precedence, but that's 70 spaces lost in the town centre. Having free park and ride would have made a big difference.

"Ludlow is a feisty little town, and it's now about saying Ludlow is open. We need to get that across and help the businesses in the town."

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