Shropshire Link rural bus service to close

Low passenger numbers have led to the closure of a rural bus service in its current form, a council said.

On average fewer than six people were typically using each Shropshire Link bus every day, the authority added.

Shropshire Council said the average cost to subsidise a trip for each passenger was more than £19 and more than £2,000 daily.

The current service will cease on 5 October and future services may operate on one day a week only.

'Difficult decision'

It currently operates on two days or more each week.

Future services would aim to continue to offer transport to those looking to access essential services in their closest market town, but current trips and destinations may not be available in the future, Shropshire Council said.

Services could also be provided "on occasion through smaller vehicles and cars as necessary when passenger numbers do not justify the use of a bus".

Based on information over subsidy figures, a cross-party group of councillors looked at the service as part of a task and finish group last year and recommended "it could not be sustained" in its current format, the authority said.

The cabinet recommended re-designing it "to meet customer needs at a lower cost" which would require talking to users before any further decisions were made, the council said.

It added despite "having to make this difficult decision", the authority "continues its commitment to ensuring that travel arrangements can be made by rural residents who don't have access to any other means of transport".

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