Arriva have announced changes to some Telford services from September, which will affect residents in some areas. Lucy Allan MP has written to Arriva’s Chief Executive to discuss the impacts on residents and to seek guarantees that buses will continue to serve all areas. Discussions are ongoing and require engagement with the bus providers. It’s disappointing to see Telford & Wrekin Council once again playing politics with an important local service, instead of working with Arriva to ensure the best outcome for residents.
A significant portion of people using bus services in Telford are elderly or students. For this reason the operators do not always turn a profit and require subsidies to maintain the routes.
Transport Minister Richard Holden MP has informed Telford & Wrekin Council that the Government is providing an additional £650,938 of public money to boost bus services in the borough for 2023/2024, in line with the national bus funding formula.
Lucy Allan MP said:
I am glad that Government is providing extra funding to boost bus services in Telford. We need to make sure this money is used where it is needed most and that we all work closely with Arriva to ensure vital routes are protected.
Once again it appears that whatever Government gives to Telford & Wrekin Council in funding, the Council will always attempt to misinform residents. Over my time as Telford’s MP, the Government has given record sums to Telford Council for public services, support packages and investment often significantly exceeding funding given to other neighbouring councils.
Telford & Wrekin Council always try to depict Government funding for Telford as being ‘short changed.’ This is a cynical disservice to residents. Residents want to see the results of cooperation between the Council, the Government and our local partners. They do not want divisive political games being played with their taxpayer funded services.
If the Council was prepared to put people first, imagine how much more productive the working relationship with Government would be and the benefits it would deliver for Telford.
I will continue to work productively with Arriva to ensure that services are maintained. I expect the funding given to the Council to be used where it is needed most and will be asking them to account for this taxpayer funded spend.
You can read the Minister’s letter to Telford & Wrekin council below.