A COUNCIL-RUN bus service for the Oswestry and Ellesmere area that shut last week due to low use was reporting having record passenger numbers just two years ago.
Shropshire Council closed down the county-wide ShropshireLink service on October 5 after a drop in use meant some services were transporting just one passenger a day, yet in 2011 service bosses boasted 6,500 passengers using the specialist bus service in one month.
Councillor John Gareth Jones, chairman of the Senior Citizen’s Club in Oswestry, said it was a shame that the council decided to bring the service to an end, adding: “I didn’t use it but I am sorry to see it going. I know there are people missing it.
“People were using the service around here so now there is no bus to places like Trefonen, and people there were using the bus to get into town.”
Shropshire Council is currently working with local community services to provide an alternative bus service to towns from rural areas.
Cllr Jones noted that Dial A Ride provides a similar service to ShropshireLink in the Oswestry area, but he said: “The trouble is, if people use Dial A Ride they can’t use their bus passes like they did for ShropshireLink. People would have to pay for the fare.
“Maybe the council should subsidise a taxi fare. It would be cheaper for them to put a taxi on for people than to have a bus service.”
ShropshireLink started in November 2008 as an alternative to fixed route bus services, allowing passengers to board from outside their homes.