The proposal to close ticket offices will increase fare evasion and antisocial behaviour as platform staff, too, will gradually disappear.
Part of Shropshire’s problem is that the lion’s share of investment in new stations and reopened lines goes to the conurbations, eg, Transport for West Midlands.
Shropshire’s transport, however, exists on a ‘hand to mouth’ basis with infrequent and unreliable train services and bus services constantly under threat of withdrawal.
Wolverhampton would be an excellent interchange point with rail and metro if buses in Shropshire operated later in the evening.
This would provide enhanced travel opportunities for people in (for example) Bridgnorth, making access to employment, education and leisure much easier. It would also work in the other direction, allowing visitors to stay longer, to make use of bars and restaurants without having to worry about driving.
Good connectivity that reaches beyond county boundaries, as it does with Transport for London, gives even small towns and villages many of the seamless travel that exists in the economically buoyant South East. Benefits enjoyed by Transport for West Midlands pretty much stop at the county boundary.
Good connectivity promotes economic growth and could assist the regeneration of our market towns. It’s time the government accepted Shropshire’s levelling-up bid to make these aspirations a reality.
Mike Crump, Bridgnorth
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