Subsidised bus routes

For many years, Arriva has been the bus company that runs bus services in Telford and Wrekin. Most of the bus routes that Arriva run are well used and the fares cover the costs of operating these commercial services. In Telford and Wrekin 98% of bus routes are operated commercially by Arriva.

Telford & Wrekin Council is not in charge of bus services locally, bus services are regulated by the Office of the Transport Commissioner. However, the Council does subsidise some local bus routes. This means the Council provides money to bus operators to run bus routes that carry less people and do not make enough money to cover the costs of running the services. Historically these services have been operated by Arriva. The Council also subsidises some bus services that run through Telford and Wrekin and into neighbouring areas like Shropshire or Staffordshire.

In June 2015 the Council approved an updated Bus Subsidy Policy. This policy provides a multi-criteria assessment to consider how bus routes help contribute to many of the Council's main priorities particularly around deprivation, access to local services and future housing and employment growth. The bus subsidy policy was reviewed by scrutiny committee and received cross party support prior to adoption by Cabinet.

Following this the Council went out to public consultation to understand why people use the current subsidised services, the impact that these services would have if they were changed or withdrawn and to consider ways of potentially creating savings such as stopping evening services earlier. Please view the results of the consultation.

Over the next few years the Council needs to find a further £30m of savings and to help achieve this the Council needs to make sure that what we spend on subsidised bus routes meets the needs of residents but is also affordable.

The current cost of operating all subsidised bus services is around £560,000 per year. If this level of spend was to continue over the next five years it would cost £2.8m to subsidise these services. 

The Council went out to tender for these services in November 2015. Arriva was the only operator to tender for these services therefore the Council has negotiated with them to agree a suitable cost to operate these services over the next five years.

The outcome of these negotiations will see the majority of existing services remain whilst delivering a saving of around £800,000.

The contracts that will be awarded and changes are as follows:

  • Evening services on 1/2, 3, 4, and 7 – these will continue to operate on a half hourly basis until around 11pm. There has been a minor timetable amendment to remove some of the latest services where average passenger data has shown that these are very poorly used.
  • Service 14, 15, 16 and 19 – these will continue as currently timetabled.
  • New evening and Sunday services for Lawley – these will start from 11th April 2016.
  • The 519 will be taken on commercially by Arriva and continue to operate as it currently does.

The Council will continue to contribute to the cross border 96 service with Shropshire Council.

As part of the review the Council has had to make some savings and these have been assessed using the Council’s adopted bus subsidy policy. As a result the Council will be withdrawing contributions to the following cross border services which did not score highly in accordance with the Council’s bus subsidy policy and do not represent value for money. These services are:

  • Service 5 (Sundays) – the Council will withdraw subsidy for this route. From liaising with Staffordshire County Council they are going to continue operating this service until September 2016 and will then re-tender for this and take a decision on the service’s future at that stage.
  • 341/342 – The Council will withdraw subsidy for this route from April 2016. This service is contracted by Shropshire Council and as such any final decision on the future of this service is up to them.  We will continue to liaise with Shropshire Council on cross border issues and how the impact of the potential removal of the 341/342 can by minimised where possible.  The Council is currently looking at options for providing an alternative community transport service for residents in the Borough to ensure that access is maintained to the Princess Royal Hospital and Wellington from the rural areas currently served by the 341/342.

The Council has also agreed to continue to operate the Ironbridge Park & Ride and Gorge Connect but on a reduced basis. This will operate bank holiday weekends including Easter, both May Bank Holidays and August Bank Holiday. The service will then operate every weekend from the start of the school holidays in July through to the World Heritage Festival in September.

Telford and Wrekin subsidised bus routes

Use the following links to view bus route maps and timetables:

  • Route 1 (evenings only) - Telford Town Centre, Malinslee, Dawley, Little Daley, Brookside, Sutton Hill, Madeley, Woodside, Aqueduct, Little Dawley, Dawley, Malinslee, Telford Town Centre.
  • Route 2 (evenings only) - Telford Town Centre, Malinslee, Dawley, Little Dawley, Brookside, Sutton Hill, Madeley, Woodside, Madeley, Sutton Hill, Brookside, Little Dawley, Dawley, Malinslee, Telford Town Centre.
  • Route 3 (evenings only) - Telford Town Centre, Telford Town Centre, Hollinswood, Randlay, Stirchley, Brookside.
  • Route 4 (evenings only) - Leegomery, Princess Royal Hospital, Wellington, Oakengates, Telford Town Centre, Stirchley, Woodside, Madeley.
  • Route 7a (evenings only) - Wellington, Haybridge, Hadley, Trench, Donnington, Oakengates, Telford Town Centre, Oakengates, Telford Town Centre, Overdale.
  • Route 11 (evenings and sundays) - Telford and Lawley
  • Route 14 - Telford Town Centre, Priorslee, Snedshill, Ketley Bank, Ketley Grange, Oakengates (60 mins).
  • Route 15 - Telford Town Centre, Oakengates, Wombridge, Hadley, Hadley Park, Leegomery, Princess Royal Hospital, Shawbirch, Admaston, Dothill, Wellington, Arleston (60 mins).
  • Route 16 - Telford Town Centre, Malinslee, Dawley Bank, Overdale, Hadley, Hadley Park, Princess Royal Hospital, Wellington, Dothill, Admaston, Shawbirch, Rodington, Roden, High Ercall (2 hours).
  • Route 19 - Telford Town Centre, Dawley Bank, Lawley, Lightmoor (60 mins).
  • Route 96 – Shrewsbury, Ironbridge, Telford Town Centre (2 hourly).

Alternative Transport Options

For more information on other transport solutions that the Council provides, visit the pages below:

View the summary of bus services in Telford and Wrekin.