Number 20 bus service to continue under new operator
The number 20 (Radbrook Green) bus service in Shrewsbury is to continue operating until at least March 2025 and will be run by a new operator – Lakeside Coaches – from 30 October 2023.
The current timetables will remain in place, and Lakeside plans to use a brand new bus on the route from early in the contract.
The contract will be solely funded from Government funding, which is available until the end of March 2025.
The 20 service had been planned to end and be included in Shropshire Council’s new Connect On-Demand service, which is set to begin this autumn.
However, the service will now continue to run until March 2025. During that period, work will be carried out to understand if and how usage of the service can be increased in the long-term to make it more sustainable – or whether to incorporate it into the Connect On-Demand network at a later date.
Ian Nellins, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member with responsibility for transport, said:
“I’m delighted that Lakeside Coaches are to operate the number 20 bus service until the end of March 2025. We’re sure that local people will welcome the news that service is to continue to operate, and we hope existing and new passengers will show their support for the service by making good use of it. Meanwhile, I’m looking forward to announcing more details about our new on-demand service shortly.”
The new Connect On-Demand is set to begin operating in late autumn 2023.
The initial plan was to offer the new service to areas with existing high-cost and under-utilised local bus services, with local bus services 20 (Radbrook Green), 544 (Lyth Hill) and 546 (Longden/Pulverbatch) initially selected to be replaced with a service that operates only when required.
However, the first Connect On-Demand zone will now incorporate services 544 and 546, but also provide links to the new residential developments at Oteley Road in Shrewsbury, not currently served by public transport.
Further details on operational times, fares and how to book are due to be announced in the coming weeks.
The 544 and 546 will continue to operate as normal by Arriva Midlands until a further announcement is made.
The number 20 service will continue to be operated by Arriva until Saturday 28 October 2023. Arriva passes will be accepted by Lakeside until those passes are renewed.