Last chance to complete bus survey

People in and around Market Drayton would travel more by bus if more services were reliably available, according to bus users arriving for Wednesday’s market last week. The bus users were met by members of Market Drayton Climate Action, which is running a survey to document local people’s experience of public transport and what they would like to have available. The survey will close at the end of September.

The survey is intended to provide evidence of area demand for bus services. ‘Market Drayton is increasingly cut off from the rest of the world for anyone not in a car as more bus services are cut,’ said Belinda Sprigg from the climate group. ‘It’s a downward spiral, because without regular services people won’t use the bus, and then more routes are cut because of lack of demand.  We want to provide evidence that this could be turned around if bus timetables were planned to meet people’s needs.’

Market Drayton’s bus service is one of the worst in the UK, according to an analysis by the House of Commons Library.  Market Drayton has only a fraction of weekday bus departures compared to similar sized towns, and there are no buses running on Sundays.

The survey seeks responses from across the community, and is available at Market Drayton Library or can be completed online at https://mdclimateaction.uk/transport-2/ until the end of September. ‘We urge everyone to fill in the form, so we will be stronger in arguing for the services the town needs,’ Belinda Sprigg said.

The local climate group has already published recommendations for the minimum bus service needed which include hourly buses to Whitchurch to provide links to a rail station as well as medical care.

The issue has been taken up by Helen Morgan MP, who has tabled a bill in the House of Commons which would make the Government responsible for ensuring that every town with a population of over 10,000 has bus services that connect people with hospitals and GP surgeries running each day of the week.

Helen Morgan MP said: ‘It is staggering that it is 2022 and yet the people of North Shropshire are forced to fork out for a taxi to access something as basic as a GP appointment if they do not drive. If you live in a rural area and need to get to hospital there are no buses and no trains to get you there.’

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