Shropshire

Bishops Castle road blocked during bus cuts protest

Scene on the A488
Image caption A human road block diverted traffic in protest over bus cuts

A main road has been blocked by protesters opposing cuts to bus services.

Shropshire Council has been consulting on cutting the number of its subsidised bus services as part of a bid to save £405,000 in its transport budget.

In Bishop's Castle, that means the area's five daily services could be reduced to one, which protesters say will make it "an island".

Protesters there blocked the A488 at the crossroads with School Lane.

BBC Shropshire reporter Ryan Kennedy was at the scene and said the group - which claimed it was 70-strong at its height - disrupted traffic for two hours, with a number of vehicles forced to turn round and find alternative routes.

Police were called to make sure protesters were safe.

Among them was Sarah Wilkinson who said there were many people in Bishop's Castle reliant on the bus service.

"If we can no longer get out of Bishop's Castle, we are effectively an island," she said.

Town councillor Steve Whittingham said: "Elderly people have to make journeys to Shrewsbury, perhaps to make hospital appointments.

"They're going to get there at 09:30 and they're going to be stuck there all day, it doesn't seem very fair."

The council is also looking to reduce the budget for Shrewsbury's Park and Ride by £50,000 and is proposing ending its concessionary fare and group ticket programme.

It said it had received 954 responses during the public consultation, which closed earlier this month, and would carefully consider all of them before the issue was next considered by the cabinet on 12 June.

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