THE MP for North Shropshire has praised the work of a bus service that fills the gap for communities that are not provided for.

Helen Morgan spoke to users and operators of the North Salop Wheelers community bus service in north Shropshire to learn more about the battle for buses in rural areas around and between Whitchurch and Wem.

North Salop Wheelers provide services rural north Shropshire residents unable to access public or private transport by reason of age, incapacity, isolation or economic hardship.

The Liberal Democrat MP for North Shropshire said that the work carried out by the Wheelers is because of a lack of service from established bus companies, which needs to be improved.

She also urged people who may be interested in supporting the Wheelers through driving to get in touch with them.

She said: “We have a constant battle for better bus services here in north Shropshire.

“There is a gap left by a lack of provision for those in rural areas, which leads to unacceptably low standard of bus provision and unacceptably high levels of isolation.

“It was really lovely speaking to users of the Wheelers service who can get out and about almost solely because of it.


“These services provide a lifeline for many in rural communities across the county and have the added benefit of keeping market days in our towns livelier and better attended.

“One thing made clear to me today is that these services rely on the goodwill of hard-working volunteers who put something back into their communities.

“The team are in need of more drivers so if anyone has any spare time in the week and would be interested in helping, I would really encourage them to get in touch and offer their help."

Signed-up members of the Wheelers can access individual and group journeys, but the organisation mainly runs regular bus services connecting rural villages to local market towns – Wednesdays to Market Drayton, Thursdays to Wem, and Fridays to Whitchurch.

She added: “The service is especially vital given the near-total absence of decent bus provision throughout north Shropshire and in particular Market Drayton."

The service has a strong and regular user base, and today (Thursday, February 16) Mrs Morgan spoke with users from the Prees and Coton area who were heading into Market Drayton for market day.