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.’

Have your say on improving transport, travel and public spaces in Market Drayton

Shropshire Council are consulting on proposals for Market Drayton, including walking and cycling routes and bus services. No funding has yet been allocated, but it will help to secure funding if public support is shown through their consultation. Read more and register your views here.

Shropshire and Telford Councils launch environmental support scheme for SMEs

Cool Shropshire and Telford is a sustainability initiative that provides free environmental support to local micro businesses and SMEs. Sponsored by Shropshire Council and Telford & Wrekin Council, the initiative will be supporting up to 1,000 micro and SME organisations in its first year (500 in Shropshire, 500 in Telford and Wrekin). The scheme will open in mid-May, and will be accessible online via the council websites, and the Zero Carbon Shropshire website.

The aim of the scheme is to encourage micro businesses and SMEs to understand their individual environmental impact and set some goals to reduce it over the coming year. Carbon reduction is a long-term ambition for the county; however, the scheme also covers energy use, recycling and waste management, water use, transport, biodiversity, and procurement. This offers a plethora of areas in which businesses can make small improvements such as switching to a renewable energy provider, using smart plugs, or using water saving devices in toilets.

There are various benefits for businesses registered with the scheme. By completing the process, business owners can identify ways to become more energy and resource efficient.  This means companies can save money on bills, reduce supply chain risk, and move away from fossil fuels where possible. In addition, guidance is tailored to local businesses and will signpost to the relevant tools and support provided by Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin councils. 

The county of Shropshire (which also includes Telford) is principally a small business economy, with more than nine out of ten of the 15,870 enterprises having fewer than 10 employees in 2020 (source: Shropshire Economy snapshot). For Shropshire and Telford to make progress, businesses need to behave as a collective; each taking small steps in the right direction to make a significant cumulative impact.

The scheme is powered by Kanopi, an award-winning software service created by E4environment Ltd. Users can register their business, complete a straightforward two-step process, and will then have access to a Green Regulations Review, a Green Goals suite, and achievements record.

For more information email info@e4environment.co.uk

http://www.e4environment.co.uk/blog/coolshropshireandtelford/


Morrisons Plastic Packaging

Market Drayton Climate Action’s Responsible Consumption team recently asked local supermarket Morrisons about their plastic packaging on fresh fruit and vegetables. Although the store is unable to pursue local suggestions for how to present produce that is UK-grown, their national sustainability policy includes a win for the climate.

With a large investment into the world-first Yes Recycling flexible food packaging recycling facility in Fife (https://www.yesrecycling.org/), Morrisons, the first supermarket to own recycling facilities in the UK, intends by 2025 to be recycling the equivalent quantity of hard-to-recycle soft plastic packaging as it puts on the market. The facility can currently process 15,000 tonnes per year.

Morrisons also intends to have an average of 30% recycled content in its own plastic packaging, a 50% reduction in own brand primary packaging (versus a 2017 baseline), 70% of all plastic packaging to be recycled, and 100% of all plastic packaging to be recyclable, reusable, or compostable, by 2025.

Recycling soft plastics ensures that the materials are not lost to landfill or incineration but rather are able to continue being a useful resource for making new plastics. This ensures the carbon in the plastics is not lost to the atmosphere, so won’t contribute to climate change, while supporting a circular economy, which is also better for our planet.

Until the local Morrisons store has a collection point for (clean) soft plastics such as fruit and vegetable bags or wrappers, biscuit and crisp packets, bread bags, and pet food pouches, you can take them along to the local Lidl supermarket near the bus station, which has a collection point after you go through the tills.

Responsible Consumption Team