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Shropshire bus service cuts 'will hit most vulnerable’

By Aimee Jones | South Shropshire | Transport | Published:

Further calls have been made to Shropshire Council to rule out any more cuts in bus services in the rural parts of the county.

In a bid to save more than £450,000, the authority is proposing to cut services on the routes it is responsible for.

Councillor Jonny Keeley, who represents Bishops Castle, and Clun Councillor Nigel Hartin, said the cuts will affect the most vulnerable.

"First the council strips away essential services claiming we can travel to use these in larger towns, then they propose to considerably reduce our bus service which will isolate people and reduce options for commuters, students and hospital visits," Councillor Keeley said.

"Only recently children's services were removed from Crowgate in Bishops Castle to Shrewsbury. Many of the families now have to use the bus to access this service.

"These cuts are affecting many parts of Shropshire but I believe Bishops Castle is among those areas hit the hardest as we are a very long way from hospitals, colleges and other services."

The council's consultation will run until May 6 with a vote in cabinet on May 22.

One of the affected routes is the Bishops Castle to Plox Green 533 service, which then travels to Shrewsbury.

Shropshire Council is proposing to cut the service from five times a day to just two.

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Councillor Hartin added: "We have seen our rural bus network seriously pared back over the years. Further cuts would seriously impair the ability some of the most vulnerable in society to access key services such heath care in our towns. Our young people would also suffer greatly. Further cuts can only add to the social exclusion felt by many in rural areas."

Under the proposals the Bridgnorth town service will run hourly Monday to Saturday instead of every 30 minutes and the Wem town, Ludlow town, Ellesmere town and Whitchurch town services will be reduced.

With regard to Shrewsbury's Park & Ride service, concessionary rates would be removed, fares would increase from £1.60 to £2 per person and the group ticket, which allows up to five people to travel for £2.50, would no longer be issued.

To take part in the consultation, go to shropshire.gov.uk/get-involved

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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