A new on-demand bus service has begun operating in Shropshire.
Operated by Shropshire Council, Shropshire Connect On-Demand will replace two existing bus routes that are fully funded by the council but have, over a period of time, seen a reduction in passengers.
It will also provide links to new residential developments in Shrewsbury not currently served by public transport.
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.
“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.”
A Sigma 7 16-seat electric bus will operate in urban areas – the first fully electric bus operating in Shropshire, while smaller low-emission EVM diesel vehicles will operate in rural areas as they are better able to navigate lanes and roads less suited for larger buses.
A fully-electric eight-seater Vivaro vehicle will also be used.
Under the new service, which will operate from 7.30am to 6.30pm Monday to Saturday, 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.
Single journeys will cost £2 for passengers over 19, £1.50 for those aged five to 19, with under-fives travelling for free. Concessionary passes, and school bus passes, will be accepted.
A trial period for this first phase of the on-demand service began in late October and will run until the first week of December.
During the trial period the service will operate alongside the existing 544 and 546 services – with passengers offered a free trial.
Shropshire Connect On-Demand will then become fully operational in the first week of December and will fully replace the 544 and 546 services.
Innovations and achievements in public transport will be celebrated at the second annual CiTTi Awards on 21 November 2023 at the De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms in London. Visit www.cittiawards.co.uk to learn more about this unmissable event for the UK’s transportation sector – and to book your table today!