Shrewsbury’s park and ride service to operate every 10 minutes – as plans considered for a new site
Buses serving Shrewsbury’s Meole Brace park and ride site will run every 10 minutes on a permanent basis from next Monday [3 February 2020], rather than every 20 minutes as at present – with plans being considered for a new park and ride site on the west side of town which could serve the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital.
The ‘every 10 minutes’ service will operate from the Harlescott park and ride site from Monday 6 April – a slight revision to the original plans as, regrettably, the additional buses required for the more frequent service won’t be available until then.
The 10 minutes frequency will be in operation at peak times – between 7.30am and 10am and from 4pm to 6.30pm – with a 15 minutes frequency between 10am and 4pm.
The town’s third park and ride site – Oxon – is no longer included in the roll-out of the ‘every 10 minutes’ service as the council is now considering plans that would see the Oxon site replaced in the near future with a new, improved, site on the west side of the town close to the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital. The new site would offer an improved service that it is hoped would drop off and pick up at the hospital, benefiting patients and staff. Further details are set to be announced shortly.
The changes follow a review of how the park and ride service could operate in the future, with a series of further service improvements being planned or trialled to find out which of these should be adopted in the long-term, as part of the Shrewsbury Big Town Plan.
Three electric buses have been trialled on the park and ride service, with a fourth set to take to the streets from 9 to 23 April, as the council hopes for the park and ride service to be entirely served by electric buses in the future.
The ‘every 10 minutes’ service was initially trialled at Meole Brace between 11 November and Christmas Eve last year, and was popular and well received.
Steve Davenport, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for highways and transport, said:
“We want to have the best possible park and ride service and are carefully considering what changes and improvements we need to make to the current service. Following last year’s successful trial I’m pleased that buses will run every 10 minutes at peak times from 3 February at Meole, and from 6 April at Harlescott, on a permanent basis.
“We now have exciting plans for an improved park and ride site and service on the west side of Shrewsbury that could serve the hospital, with the Oxon site likely to be replaced – so the 10 minutes frequency won’t now apply on the Oxon service – and we hope to announce more details in the near future.
“We also hope to announce further positive changes to the park and ride service soon. As well as changes to the frequency of buses we’re also considering the use of new technology, possible route changes and, of course, the use of electric buses.”
Seb Slater, executive director of Shrewsbury BID, said:
“We strongly welcome the improvements being introduced to Shrewsbury park and ride. Doubling frequency will improve access for locals and enhance the experience of visitors to our town and businesses. We will continue to support further investment in park and ride as part of the wider movement strategy being developed by the Big Town Plan partnership.”