04/12/2023 - Permalink

New on-demand bus service begins operating

Related topics: Climate change / environment / Highways, transport and environmental maintenance

The Sigma 7 electric bus that will be used for the new service

Shropshire Council’s new on-demand bus service was officially launched today [Monday 4 December 2023], initially in two zones, and with plans in place to expand the service on a on a zone-by-zone basis.

It follows a four-week period in which people were able to try the service for free.

Operated by Shropshire Council, Shropshire Connect On-Demand has replaced the 544 (Shrewsbury to Lyth Hill) and 546 (Shrewsbury to Pulverbatch) bus services which were fully funded by the council but have, over a period of time, seen a reduction in passengers.

It’s also providing 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 using the Connect On-demand app – or by phone by calling 0345 678 9013 between 10am and 2pm, Monday to Friday. They can choose where they wish to be picked up, and when, and where they want to be dropped off.

The service will pick-up and drop-off at locations within both zones, including Meole Brace retail park, Nuffield Hospital and allocated doctors’ surgeries. There will also be additional drop-off and pick up points outside of the zones at Shrewsbury bus and railway stations, and The Square.

The service will operate from 7.30am to 6.30pm Monday to Saturday, with people able to book via app or by phone. Single journeys will cost £2 for passengers over 19, £1.50 for those aged 5 to 19, with under-5s travelling for free. Concessionary passes, and school bus passes, will be accepted

Ian Nellins, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member with responsibility for public transport, said:

“The new Shropshire Connect On-Demand service is part of Shropshire Council’s commitment to reinvigorate public transport in Shropshire. I’m delighted that the new buses have now begun operating and I encourage people to take advantage of this fantastic new service.

“For many residents in Shropshire’s vast rural areas there are no local transport services to get them to work, leisure activities, medical appointments or college.  This service strives to change that and provide a crucial link for residents requiring affordable access to essential services.​

“Connect On-Demand will also work in areas not supported by sufficient local bus services, providing them with essential transport to their nearest market town and links to existing local bus/rail services for onwards travel.

“I want to thank everyone who took advantage of the free trial in November – and everyone who came along to one of our roadshow events to find out more about new service – and thank them for their comments and feedback.”

More information about the Shropshire Connect On-demand service can be found on the new Connect On-demand website.

Further information

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.