Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Ludlow Lib Dem councillor Andy Boddington on the buses

Andy Boddington, the Liberal Democrat councillor for the Ludlow North ward of Shropshire Council, has submitted written evidence to the House of Commons transport select committee's inquiry into the health of the bus market.

His evidence addresses the committee's interest in "how bus services are provided to isolated rural and urban communities and their dependence on services."

It argues that buses are "a social service that promotes wellbeing and should be funded on this basis, not just as a means of getting people from A to B".

Andy writes:
Clun with population approaching 700 people has only two bus services a week, both in the middle of the day. Ditton Priors is a similar size and has no bus services. This is leading to premature ageing of the populations in these settlements as young people leave our smallest towns and villages because they have no access to transport. 
Buses are vital to the wellbeing of our rural communities. In a rural town like Ludlow, buses are a social service acting as a "community centre on wheels". They provide access to shops and medical facilities, and to a lesser extent employment. They are an important part of the social fabric of our town of 11,000 people.
He goes on to give examples from his experiences of life in Ludlow to support his contention that:
If people are isolated in their homes, if they can’t socialise, their wellbeing suffers. Buses make a significant contribution to wellbeing in our area. I have no doubt that the contribution to wellbeing exceeds the annual subsidy of £89,000 for services in Ludlow.  
You can read Andy's full submission to the inquiry on his blog.

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