10/07/2024 - Permalink

On-demand bus service expands to include Sutton Farm area of Shrewsbury

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

A Sigma 7 electric bus used for the Connect On-Demand service

Shropshire Council’s new on-demand bus service will be expanded from Monday 15 July [2024] to include the Sutton Farm area of Shrewsbury – with new users being offered 50% off travel for the first two weeks.

Shropshire Connect On-Demand was launched in December 2023, initially in two zones, and with plans in place to expand the service on a zone-by-zone basis.

It has replaced the 544 (Shrewsbury to Lyth Hill) and 546 (Shrewsbury to Pulverbatch) bus services (Zone 1), and provides links to the new residential developments at Oteley Road in Shrewsbury, not previously served by public transport (Zone 2).

Now ‘Zone 2’ is being expanded to include areas including Tilstock Crescent, Sutton Road, Sutton Way, Mereside, Tudor Road and Marden Medical Practice, providing these communities with more options for travel in and out of Shrewsbury town centre.

At the same time The Abbey church will be added to the list of Connect On-Demand stops within the town centre, for use by customers in both zones 1 and 2.

New users who have signed up to the service on or after 1 July 2024 and are travelling to or from Zone 2 are being offered a 50% discount between Monday 15 and Wednesday 31 July 2024.

And from 1 to 31 August 2024 all passengers in either zone can then enjoy a 50% discount by using promo code SUMMER24 in the app only.

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

“Following the successful launch of the Connect On-Demand service back in December, the service has gone from strength-to-strength.

“Our commitment to providing flexible and convenient travel options has already seen great success in communities such as Pulverbatch, Longden, Hook-A-Gate, and Oteley Road in Shrewsbury. The feedback provided has been incredibly valuable and we are really pleased with the positive engagement from the local community.

“I’m delighted that we can now expand the service further to include the Sutton Farm area and I encourage people in that area to make use of the service, and take advantage of the special introductory offer.”

Rosemary Dartnall, Shropshire Councillor for Bayston Hill, Column and Sutton, said:

“Extending Zone 2 of the Connect On-Demand bus service to more areas of Sutton and Column is a really positive move for all who live here. Residents of Sutton Farm and Springfield have suffered  declining frequency and time-limited bus services for several years. Connect On-Demand will operate here to supplement the limited hours of buses currently on offer, ensuring more people can rely on public transport for their journeys.

“The extension of Zone 2 includes a brand new service for The Farthings and Sutton Road. The service is popular with existing passengers and Column and Sutton residents will soon be able to share in well-priced, convenient local and town centre travel. I hope many residents will come to the upcoming roadshow events to learn more about the service, speak to staff and check out the low-emission buses.”

Two public roadshows are being held to give people the chance to find out more and ask any questions, as follows:

  • Saturday 27 July 2024. The Charles Darwin Public House car park. 10am–1pm.
  • Saturday 3 August 2024. Mereside Community Centre car park. 2pm-5pm.

The Connect On-Demand service currently operates Monday to Saturday, 7.30am to 6.30pm excluding bank holidays.

People can book a journey using the Connect On-demand app – or by phone by calling 0345 678 9013 between 10am and 2pm, Mondays to Fridays. They can choose where they wish to be picked up, and when, and where they want to be dropped off.

For full details of the service, please visit the Shropshire Council website.

Further information

Stops along Sutton Way, Tilstock Crescent, Mereside, Pool Rise and Springfield Way will not be available using Connect On-Demand between 9am and 2pm. Passengers wishing to travel within these times should utilise the Arriva Midlands 17 service, and timetables for this service can be accessed here.

The stop at Beeches Medical Practice is to be withdrawn due to very limited uptake and increased journey time impacting availability for bookings.

From Monday 15 July 2024 travel between zones will no longer be possible. However, customers in both zones will be able to access stops in the town centre such as the Bus Station, Railway Station and The Square. Also, a shared zone has been created including the stops at Meole Brace Retail Park, Percy Throwers Garden Centre and Medivet Sutton Farm for all passengers, in either zone to access.