Thursday, August 08, 2013

Shropshire to withdraw dial-a-ride bus service

Sitting in The Three Tuns in Bishop's Castle reading the Shropshire Star is usually one of my favourite occupations. But the experience was rather spoilt by this story:
Council chiefs have refused plans to delay the closure of a countywide rural bus service.

Shropshire councillor Roger Evans, leader of the Liberal Democrat group, had attempted to formally ‘call in’ a decision made at cabinet on July 24 to axe the ShropshireLink
If accepted, it would have temporarily stopped the service cuts from being made. The bus service, which serves hundreds of passengers in Shropshire, will cease to operate from December and up to 20 bus drivers and office staff have been told their contracts will be terminated. ... 
Councillor Evans said he “regretted” he provision of rural transport was “no longer a priority” for the council. 
He added: “Other providers, many using volunteers only have a limited capacity and can only offer some of the services. My concern is both about the drivers who have done everything asked of them for the last five years and the many parts of rural Shropshire who will have no public transport of any description in the future.”
These dial-a-ride services were supposed to be the future. They are what bus users are pointed towards when conventional bus services are withdrawn.

But if councils cannot afford even these vestigial bus services, then things really are grim in the countryside. How will the young get to work or older people get anywhere?

Meanwhile, the cost of HS2 keep increasing...

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