Saturday, 5th September 2015

Transport link planned

Town shoppers could be set to benefit from a new ‘demand responsive’ service from Telford and Wrekin Council providing a transport link to Audley Avenue retail park.

This week the borough council said the current bus services running through town were bound by school responsibilities, but did offer a glimmer of hope for town residents who want to use the facilities at the retail park.

A brand new scheme could be set up, which would operate like Dial a Ride, if there is enough demand.

A spokesman for Telford and Wrekin Council said: “For the future the council are planning to develop a demand responsive service for the Telford area which will include Newport.

“This may provide an opportunity for people to use such a service to access the retail park.

“The demand responsive service is still very much in development and is probably over a year away.

Early days

“In essence a person will be able to ring a central booking line and a vehicle can be routed very similar to Dial a Ride, however it is very early days.”

The plans will be subject to the Transport Review, but the council has also suggested contact is made with the stores at the retail park to arrange a sponsored bus service to the park - similar to the scheme already in place at Mere Park Garden Centre which uses the Arriva 481, through a private arrangement.

Town resident and ex-councillor Brenda Flowers has campaigned on behalf of shoppers for a bus service to the retail park.

She said: “Since the closure of a High Street store and a DIY store in the town people have been approaching me to try and get a bus service to call in so that they can use the stores on the Newport Retail Park of Audley Road.

“This cannot be accessed without transport and it means that they haver to go out of town to make purchases All the poeple who have approached me would rather shop in Newport.”

By Sam Pinnington