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Fears grow over cuts to bus services in Ludlow
CONCERNS are growing that cuts to bus services in Ludlow will hit the town’s vital tourist trade and the local economy in the long term.
There are particular concerns about the impact of reducing by half the number of buses that will link the town centre with the park-and-ride at the Eco Park.
Instead of operating every 15 minutes this service has been cut to just one bus every half-an-hour.
Angela Linsday, who manages the Tourist Information Centre in Ludlow town centre, is worried and says she is already noticing a difference.
“I believe the issue will affect tourism and there are already signs of this,” she said.
“If people have a bad experience they will just go somewhere else and not come back. It is worrying because the first thing people do if they come to a town and do not go into the centre is look for the parkand- ride.”
And this week, UK campaign g roup Greener Journeys published a report detailing that a quarter of unemployed young people have missed out on job opportunities because there is no available bus for work. It is lobbying the government to invest in bus services.
Rosanna Taylor-Smith, who also represents Ludlow on Shropshire Council, said that she is monitoring the situation. But she said that as the services are being provided on a commercial basis the issue is largely out of the hands of Shropshire Council.
“I am disappointed at the reduction in the services and would encourage people to let the Traf fic Commissioner know of any concerns,” added Rosanna Taylor-Smith.
Crucially, the organisers of Ludlow Food Festival are reassuring people that the changes will not hit transport to and from the town for festival goers, because regular park and ride bus services are being run by Ludlow Festival.
The festival starts tomorrow and continues until Sunday, and is the biggest event in the town’s calendar, drawing up to 20,000 people into Ludlow.
“We run our own separate park-and-ride throughout the Food Festival and on Sunday we also pay for buses to run from the Eco Park,” said Beth Heath, the operations director at Ludlow Food Festival.
“There are other ways to get to the festival including the train as well as park and walk.”
Park-and-ride locations will be signposted on the approaches to Ludlow.
But organisers are urging people not to drive into the town centre unless they have been granted special access to the VIP car park.
They also point out that on Saturday and Sunday some of the roads in the town centre will be closed.
Details of the best way to get the festival can be found under the information tab at foodfestival.
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