Shropshire Star

Demonstration planned over Shropshire bus service cuts

The owner of a Shrewsbury cafe is organising a public march to demonstrate against changes to Shropshire's bus services.


Gwen Burgess, who runs Darwin's on Shoplatch, is gathering support after reading about Shropshire Council's plans to change bus times, withdraw services and increase fares on the town's Park & Ride service.

She says the first she, and many people, knew about the proposals was when she read about them in the local press.

A consultation opened last week and since then people including headteachers and local councillors have spoken of their dismay at the proposed changes.

Gwen, who spearheads the High Street Evolution movement in Shrewsbury, has spoken to the leader of Shropshire Council, Councillor Peter Nutting and Councillor Steve Davenport Portfolio Holder for Highways and Car Parking.

She said: "They must think we are daft. It appears the council says one thing, then appears to make concessions to get through what they originally planned in the first place.

"This is what happened with the parking charges. They made concessions after we demonstrated.

"I don't think they have a methodology here. They announce big things and then they tweak them. The town is a living thing. People coming in and out all the time and access needs to be made better. I think that with the Park & Ride, instead of increasing fares it should be cheaper and more accessible."

Under the proposals, fares on the Park & Ride service would rise from £1.60 per person to £2, group tickets, which currently cost £2.50 for up to five people, would be scrapped and concessions phased out.


Gwen added: "The buses are a lifeline for many people. They are currently empty because they are too expensive. I know many people who would use the bus if fares were cheaper and they ran more frequently."

She has been in talks with the former mayor of Shrewsbury Councillor Jane McKenzie as well as representatives of the Green Party and plans to contact local colleges and the bus users' group.

"This affects everybody," she said.

Although in its early stages of planning, Gwen hopes the march will take place towards the end of the month.

"We had a lot of support for the demonstration which took place in the Square last year regarding the parking charges," she said.

"I hope we get the same this time around. The council have launched this consultation but it only appears to be available to people who have access to the internet where they can also get an address to send their responses to.

"That is not convenient for everyone. It is important that everyone can have their say."

The consultation - which is online at - closes on May 6.

A report will be considered by Shropshire Council’s Cabinet on May 22.