Chance to try new on-demand bus service for free from 6 November
People will be able to try Shropshire Council’s new on-demand bus service for free from Monday 6 November to Saturday 2 December , when the service is tested ahead of its full launch on Monday 4 December.
Operated by Shropshire Council, Shropshire Connect On-Demand will replace the 544 (Shrewsbury to Lyth Hill) and 546 (Shrewsbury to Pulverbatch) bus services which are fully funded by the council but have, over a period of time, seen a reduction in passengers.
It will also provide links to the new residential developments at Oteley Road in Shrewsbury, not currently served by public transport.
Under the new service people will be able to book a journey by app or by phone, choosing where they wish to be picked up, and when, and where they want to be dropped off.
During the test period customers booking via the Connect On-demand app simply need to use promo code FREETEST23 to book a free journey on the new service – or call 0345 678 9013 between 10am and 2pm, Monday to Friday.
People will be able to use the service for free at the following times:
- Monday 6 to Friday 17 November, from 10am to 2pm, Monday to Friday – enabling customers in the Pulverbatch, Church Pulverbatch and Longden Common areas (Zone 1) to access the service into the town centre and back for free.
- Monday 13 November to Friday 17 November, from 10am to 2pm, Monday to Friday – allowing customers in the Oteley Road area (Zone 2) to access the service into the town centre and back for free.
- From Monday 20 November to Saturday 2 December, from 9am to 5pm Monday to Saturday – for all customers in both zones to use all available stops for free.
During this phase, the existing 544 and 546 local bus services will continue to operate as per their current timetables, so people can continue to catch those services during this initial phase.
Ian Nellins, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member with responsibility for public transport, said:
“The start of our new on-demand service is part of Shropshire Council’s commitment to reinvigorate public transport in Shropshire and I’m delighted that the new Shropshire Connect On-Demand buses will soon be hitting the roads.
“I encourage people to take advantage of the free trial in November to see themselves how the service will operate, and the advantages it offers.”
Meanwhile, a series of Connect On-demand roadshows will be held in November to give people the chance to see the new buses, talk to council staff about how to make a booking, and ask questions about the service.
The roadshows are being held as below:
- Wednesday 8 November – Pulverbatch Village Hall, 10am to midday.
- Saturday 11 November – Pulverbatch Village Hall, 10am to midday.
- Tuesday 14 November – Percy Thrower’s Garden Centre, 10am to midday.
- Saturday 18 November – Percy Thrower’s Garden Centre, 1pm to 3pm.
More roadshow dates are to be announced in due course, including in the Longden area.
More information about the Shropshire Connect On-demand service can be found on the new Connect On-demand website.
A ‘Sigma 7’ 16-seat electric bus will operate in urban areas and offer a new experience for passengers, being the first fully electric bus operating in Shropshire.
Smaller low-emission ‘EVM’ diesel vehicles will operate in more rural areas, to which they are better suited as they are better able to navigate lanes and roads less suited for larger buses.
And a fully-electric eight-seater ‘Vivaro’ vehicle will also be used.