Improved Shrewsbury Park & Ride service to begin next month
An improved Park & Ride service begins in Shrewsbury on 1 November 2015, with users promised a more reliable and punctual service – and brand new environmentally-friendly buses from November 2017.
Following a tender exercise, Shropshire Council has awarded a new five-year contract to manage Shrewsbury’s Park & Ride service to Arriva Midlands, the current operator.
Under the new contract, the current three Park & Ride sites – Meole Brace, Harlescott and Oxon – will be retained and their capacities will remain the same. The fares will also remain unchanged, and bus pass users will continue to get a 50% discount.
To improve reliability and punctuality, from 1 November buses will run every 20 minutes from Monday to Saturday, with timetables to be made to available on ‘inbound’ journeys for the first time. Inbound services will operate from 7.20am each day (8am on Saturdays), with the last return service leaving the town centre at 6.30pm.
Buses currently run ‘up to every 10 minutes’ and ‘up to every 15 minutes’, which has proved to be confusing for users in terms of predicting bus arrivals and departures, and has been logistically challenging for the operator.
Arriva will also refresh each of the car park sites, including updating the publicity and promotional material – and a new service that provides real-time departure information via a Smartphone app is also being planned.
The existing Park & Ride vehicles will be used until the end of October 2017, when they will be replacted by Wrightbus Streetlite Micro Hybrid vehicles.
Simon Jones, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for highways and transport, said:
“I’m delighted to announce that Arriva Midlands have been awarded a further five-year contract to operate the Shrewsbury Park & Ride service on behalf of Shropshire Council.
“Following many years of high-quality service, I’m really pleased that the council and Arriva will now continue to work in partnership to maintain an attractive, reliable and high-frequency service for workers and visitors to the town.
“Users will see an improved service, but no change to fares. The intention to run to advertised and set 20-minute departures throughout the day will give much greater certainty on travel times for users, and will also give a more efficient and financially-sustainable service.
“Park and Ride is a really important service for Shrewsbury, offering an affordable alternative to on and off street parking within the town, and helping to reduce congestion around Shrewsbury’s historic streets.”
Rob Cheveaux, Area Managing Director West for Arriva Midlands said:
“I am delighted that Arriva Midlands has been chosen to continue providing the prestigious Shrewsbury Park & Ride services on behalf of Shropshire Council.
“We will continue to work in partnership with the council to deliver a reliable, punctual and attractive high-quality service for commuters and visitors to the attractive town centre.
“We are committed to making further improvements in 2017 with the introduction of ultra-low emission Hybrid vehicles to further reduce noise and air pollution within the town.
“Park & Ride sites are situated at convenient locations on the edge of Shrewsbury and by parking at these sites help to reduce congestion in town.”