A PARK-and-ride bus service to Stratford Parkway is being removed less than a year after the £6.9 million railway station opened.
The SP1 service for commuters installed in May last year has been labelled the ‘ghost bus’ by residents because hardly anybody uses it.
Starting in West Green Drive, Shottery, it stops at Trevelyan Crescent, Drayton Avenue, and Masons Road, before arriving at the Parkway station in Bishopton.
But it is being removed on 17th March because of “low passenger use”.
A Warwickshire County Council spokesperson said: “As demand has been significantly less than expected, it is only right that we withdraw the service.”
There was a park and ride in Bishopton before the station was built - and both the 221 and 222 services that come into town throughout the day will still be in operation - but the SP1 service was specifically for rail users.
Last year, the Herald revealed on average, only 80 railway passenger journeys a day were made from Stratford Parkway in October.
However, this week new figures show signs of improvement.
The council said yesterday (Wednesday): “Train passenger figures for Stratford Parkway continue to show an upward trend, with over 4,500 trips being made in December compared with 2,500 in October.”
London Midland confirmed these figures and said it normally takes between six months and a year for passengers to start using a new railway station.
John Morgan is a regular user of the rail service in Stratford. He said: “The new semi-fast Stratford-Birmingham service via Solihull is useful as it saves having to drive to Warwick Parkway.”
But like many, he thinks instead of a new station, the line into Stratford needs improving.
“It beggars belief that an international tourist destination like Stratford, the sixth most visited tourist destination in the UK, lies at the end of a truncated branch line,” he said.
“Unfortunately, Stratford Park-way was destined to be a white elephant from the start.”
Nine SP1 buses run each day Monday to Friday - four in the morning and five in the evening.
The overall figure of £170,000 in expenses also needs unpacking. Most people think of business expenses as person...
Although the government u-turned on their decision to ignore VC winners born abroad in September, there were concerns th...
They say there is an “appalling lack of information” handed out to users by energy suppliers, and three quar...