Shropshire Council bids for £46m to help improve county’s bus services
Shropshire Council has bid for more than £46million of Government funding to help improve bus services across the county.
Two bids have been submitted to the Department for Transport (DfT). One is for £1.1million to develop a ‘demand-responsive’ service in rural Shropshire to help link up healthcare services and the existing local bus network.
And a bid for £45m has been submitted to help turn Shrewsbury into an ‘electric bus town’ – to make all the town’s buses electric, and put in place the related infrastructure, such as charging points. This would improve the Shrewsbury service and mean that revenue generated can be used to enhance the rural bus network.
In March this year the DfT awarded Shropshire Council £320,000 to extend the park and ride service to 7.30pm, and to provide a park and ride service between Shrewsbury and Telford hospitals.
The funding bids link with Shropshire Council’s plans to launch a ‘next generation’ park and ride service for Shrewsbury, which will go out to consultation in the next few weeks.
Steve Davenport, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for highways and transport, said:
“With one successful funding bid behind us, we have our fingers firmly crossed that these two new bids will also be successful and see significant amounts of Government money heading to Shropshire to help us improve our public transport services still further.
“We have really ambitious plans for public transport and this funding will go a long way to making these plans a reality. We’ve submitted two very strong bids and now eagerly await an announcement from the DfT.
“The electric bus town bid is especially exciting. Making Shrewsbury’s bus services entirely electric would transform the service, put us on the map locally and nationally, and act as real statement of intent in relation to our climate change commitments.”
Shropshire Council has already stated its ambitions for Shrewsbury park and ride to use only electric buses in the future.