Hundreds sign petition to secure the future of Shrewsbury bus services

A petition with more than 1,200 signatures has been presented to try to secure the long-term future of Shrewsbury bus routes.

Shrewsbury Bus Station
Shrewsbury Bus Station

The number 20 route from the town's bus station to Radbrook Green was saved in limited form after Shropshire Council threw it a financial lifeline earlier this year.

Radbrook's Green Shrewsbury Town Councillor Chris Lemon presented the petition at a committee meeting at Shropshire Council on Wednesday. He has also called for action over routes 544 and 546, which service the West Meole area.

Supporting the move Meole councillor Bernie Bentick said: “When Arriva announced the axing of bus routes 20, 544 and 546 at the end of March this year, I received dozens of letters and emails from distressed residents of West Meole, which includes Grange Road and Grangefields Road, Longden Road and Sweetlake, who were devastated at the loss of their lifeline to Shrewsbury town centre and their social network.

"I and the West Meole residents whom I serve are extremely grateful to Shropshire Council for stepping in and providing a reprieve of the execution of their essential bus services until April 2023.”

The campaigning councillor also wants to see a £1 maximum fare for all Shrewsbury and Shropshire urban bus routes.

He added: “Many West Meole residents would regard the axing of their buses as a lifetime prison sentence of themselves and their mobility. I recently conducted a survey of West Meole residents and the majority wanted these bus services to continue.

"Indeed, many said that they would use these buses if they ran in the evenings, on Sundays and on Bank Holidays and particularly if they were less expensive.

"Accordingly, I call on Shropshire Council not only to continue these essential bus routes, but also to consider extended times and a £1 maximum fare for all urban bus journeys within Shrewsbury and all of Shropshire’s towns.”

The councillor said residents were "distraught" about the possible loss of bus services.

"A distraught Grange Road resident wrote to me saying: 'I also use the bus service to get to hospital appointments, eye tests, and Covid tests as well as the railway station, catching coaches and connecting with other bus routes. I use it regularly for shopping in town, the indoor markets and to get to Radbrook Community Centre for Monday Club to meet other people, otherwise I am alone in my four walls'."

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