An Arriva bus operating in Shropshire

Greens at Shropshire Council call for a Shrewsbury Bus Station fit for the future

27th February 2023

The Green Party will propose a motion to the Council meeting on 2nd March to commit Shropshire Council to retaining ‘a proper Bus Station’ in Shrewsbury.

Cllr. Julia Evans, Green Party Councillor for Radbrook, Shrewsbury, explains that ‘the only way we can have high quality public transport in the county is by having a much improved bus service that people want to use, and a key ingredient -for passengers and for bus drivers – is a quality Bus Station. Other towns are investing in Bus Stations that have cafés that are properly staffed, that provide a great place to arrive in the town – Chester and Durham are great examples. So far Shropshire Council leaders have not come clean about plans for our bus station. But we know they are looking at a series of bus stops around the railways station, including under the pigeon infested railway bridges. This would be a step backwards.”

Cllr Julia Evans, who sits on a Bus Improvement working party for the Greens, says ‘our motion reminds Shropshire Council that national government policy states that “Buses are the easiest, quickest, and cheapest way to improve public transport” and that “As well as decarbonising private and commercial road vehicles … we must increase the share of trips taken by public transport, cycling and walking”.  Ms Evans added “Before Covid there were 500 bus movements per day through Shrewsbury Bus Station. Any serious attempt to develop the infrastructure for a public transport system fit for the future will need to accommodate an increase from this, not a decrease.”

Cllr Julian Dean, who will be speaking in the debate, added “We have also heard from Shropshire businesses that poor bus services are hitting their ability to recruit and retain young workers especially. A quality bus network is a must for the local economy as much as for the environment. With the arrival of electric buses this is a win-win. Right now, the government is not doing enough to help the county improve its buses. We agreed with the council leadership when they voiced their disappointment that Shropshire had it’s ‘Levelling Up Fund’ bids to help with public transport turned down.  But we will never get funding for better buses if we can’t show a basic commitment to a decent service by holding on to - and improving – our Bus Station. Council leaders say that the £18.7m Levelling Up Fund award for the town centre should include "a range of associated transport, active travel and public realm interventions near to the town’s railway station [that] will ensure this programme maximises benefits for the town". The existing Bus Station is near the railway station. Yet there is no mention of this in the masterplan brief.

Cllr Kerr, Green Group Leader and Oswestry Councillor, added, “this is about improving transport for everyone in the county – not just in Shrewsbury. A good bus station in the county town is an essential ingredient for a quality county-wide network, the current location is a good one, and already belongs to the public. But the value of this land has tempted the Conservative leadership to earmark it for development. This is selling the family silver. We will be proposing a motion that commits the master planning process to include a high-quality bus station and makes clear that this existing site looks like the best option. It is very concerning that the brief for the masterplan already includes a new car park, but not a new bus station.”

Shropshire Council recently offered £2.5m for tenders to develop a masterplan for the Smithfield Riverside area of Shrewsbury.  


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