Shropshire Star

Telford and Wrekin's new rural bus services hit the road

Hopes are high for four new bus services launched this week with the aim of helping a borough's rural areas feel more joined-up.

Councillor Richard Overton with one of the new buses

Monday, February 27 saw the new 102, 103, 104 and 105 services set off for the very first time.

The new service, subsidised by Telford & Wrekin Council, is aiming to restore the links between Newport, Wellington and rural, isolated communities.

Students and staff at Charlton, Newport Girls High School, Burton Borough and Haberdashers' Adams grammar school will also benefit from the new routes.

Passengers were offered free transport for the first two days, with 72 people taking up the offer on the first day.

The council hopes the service will provide a "lifeline" to rural, isolated communities.

Newport Councillor Peter Scott rode one of the new buses on Monday, to check out the service for himself.

Councillor Scott said: "A lot of people have spent a long time trying to get the service back, so it's a very positive move by Telford & Wrekin Council.

"And it's quite a good service in my view. They're new buses and, on the whole, they've certainly improved the situation in the rural areas and it might impact positively on the amount of cars coming into Newport.

"For a long time, people in villages like Edgmond and Tibberton have only been able to get into town with a car.

"It gives people the ability to come in and shop and not bring their cars. From a climate perspective and a parking perspective, it could only be a good thing."

However, not everyone was benefitting from the change, Councillor Scott added, as the new service saw the end of the Wrekin Rider service that some nearby villages benefited from.

The Wrekin Rider, a council bus service providing transport links to residents of rural areas near Telford, has reached the end of the line after more than a decade.

Councillor Scott said: "There are people who have won and some people who have lost.

"Overall, it's a good thing, but we mustn't forget those that have lost out."

Councillor Richard Overton, deputy leader and cabinet member for housing, enforcement, and transport, said the service wasn't yet set in stone, and was optimistic that the new service would serve many more than the Wrekin Rider.

Councillor Overton said: “This service isn’t set in stone, so we are actively looking for ways to make it better and our team is open to suggestions.

“People must remember, we are working to provide the best fit within a budget and endeavour to do all we can to ensure people are not isolated.

"The previous service used to run once a week and pick up around 10 passengers, the services now offer a two-hourly service five days a week and supports pupils getting to school too.

“It’s in everyone’s interest to work together and create a rural transport solution that’s sustainable for the future.”

The council is asking for any feedback and suggestions on the new service to be sent to or by calling 01952 384545.

The services run on a hail-a-ride basis, meaning the buses will stop where safe for passengers to board along the routes.

The routes and timetables are available to view online at