CHANGES to bus timetables will mean some improvement in services for some people in Ludlow.

“Doom and gloom have surrounded the rural bus network for many years as services are relentlessly cut back or axed altogether,” said Andy Boddington, Shropshire councillor for Ludlow North.

“But every now and again, there a glimmer of hope.”

Lugg Valley Motors has introduced an improved 490 bus service between Ludlow and Leominster and onwards to Hereford.

The service calls at Overton Touring Park, Richard’s Castle, Orleton and Luston. The new timetable adds additional services to and from Ludlow on weekdays and Saturdays, and the bus will call at Ludlow School on schooldays.

The service is subsidised by Herefordshire Council. Shropshire Council does not contribute.

In the new weekday timetable, the 490 will also call at Yarpole twice on the way to Leominster in the morning and once on the way back in the afternoon. Departure times from Ludlow have changed by five to ten minutes.

There will be six buses southbound to Leominster, seven on schooldays. That’s one more than at present. The same number will return from Leominster. The additional schoolday bus will call at Ludlow School at 08:50 and 15:45.

On Saturdays, Ludlow is currently served by only two buses each way. This will double to four buses in the new timetable.

The autumn timetable came into force at the beginning of September.

There have been a major debate about the future of rural bus services in Ludlow and south Shropshire.

Earlier this year there was a plan to reduce the frequency of one of the Ludlow Town Centre bus services from evey half an hour to one every 45 minutes.

This resulted in a storm of protest and was eventaully dropped.

Campaigners says that buses have a key role to play in fighting the climate emergency and keeping cars off the road.