Shropshire Council reveal plans to develop Shrewsbury’s Park and Ride service

Plans have been revealed to develop Shrewsbury’s Park and Ride service into a ‘next generation’ transport system for people travelling in and around the town.

An artist’s impression of how the Shrewsbury Connect buses and branding may look
An artist’s impression of how the Shrewsbury Connect buses and branding may look

A report to Shropshire Council’s Cabinet this Thursday seeks approval to begin the remodelling, preparation and assessment works associated with the ambition of creating a new transport model under the name ‘Shrewsbury Connect’.

Work will include a review of the existing Park and Ride sites and the identification of possible alternative locations that would provide passengers with new, modern, interchange facilities.

Service frequency, the fare structure, use of electric buses and the cost of any changes will also be considered, along with opportunities to integrate the wider public transport network into the Park and Ride service.

Shropshire Council says that formal discussions will be held with partners and stakeholders, and work carried out to understand how the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted the transport industry – and how passenger and stakeholder requirements may have changed as a result.

Steve Davenport, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for highways and transport, said:

“Shrewsbury town centre is on the cusp of some major changes that may need to see a greater reliance on a remodelled and integrated Park and Ride service that is intrinsic to movement within the town.

“Evidence from other successful Park and Ride services around the country has shown that a successful Park and Ride service should have a number of key elements, including an attractive price, convenience, quality and a travel time that is at least as equitable to a similar journey by car, to encourage car drivers to switch from town centre car travel. It’s fair to say that we don’t offer all of these at the moment and, indeed, we’ve seen Park and Ride use halve in the past few years. That’s why these changes are so important, and much needed.

“Officers have developed an exciting vision to address all the key drivers of demand – cost, time, quality and convenience, with the aim of attracting commuters, shoppers and visitors to the town. We now need to develop and build on this to make sure we have a Park and Ride service that is fit for the future, and that we can all be proud of. I’m also discussing our future plans for Shrewsbury Park and Ride with ministers, and hope that these talks will help us to identify possible national funding opportunities.

“We know that the Covid-19 emergency may continue for some time. But, as and when the pandemic begins to subside, the world may look a very different place and it’s important to plan ahead to maximise the post Covid-19 resurgence of economic and social activity.”

Subject to the outcome of a formal consultation it is planned that the phased introduction of the Shrewsbury Connect transport model would start in 2021 along with a phased modernisation of the existing sites and the introduction of electronic buses into the operation.

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