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£70,000 to move a bus stop 500 yards in Rayleigh
7:00pm Friday 18th October 2013 in News
PLANS to move a bus stop 500 yards and away from a parade of shops have been branded "ridiculous".
The stop currently sits outside the Hambro Parade shops in Hullbridge Road, Rayleigh, but new plans will see it moved 500 yards further up the road towards Ferndale Road.
Residents, passengers and shop owners are baffled by the move which is set to cost £70,000.
The move has been voted for by district and county councillors on the Rochford Local Highways Panel.
Ron Oatham, Lib Dem councillor for Downhall and Rawreth, said: “The idea to move it is absolutely ridiculous. A lot of people use the shops there and then quite a lot will come out, go across the road and then wait for a bus to go in Rayleigh or Southend. But now if this goes ahead there are some buses that won’t even be able to stop outside the shops.
“The area originally suggested is more than adequate and huge, there’s enough room there for a full on lay by. The people who’ve voted for this I’m convinced have never looked at it.”
Moving the stop will affect five Regal Bus services to Southend and Chelmsford, the 3, 3A, 3B, 3C and 3D.
The move has been suggested over concerns that buses waiting at the current bus stop are causing traffic delays.
The new stop would feature a bus bay, enabling the bus to get out of the way of traffic.
One resident, who lives on Hullbridge Road where the new bus stop would go, said: “I can see the wisdom pulling the existing stop away from the roundabout, but who wants a double decker bus parked outside their front door?
A neighbour, who also didn’t want to named, added: “I wouldn’t want it here thank you very much. All the people that catch the bus further down will have to just walk up here now; by moving it more problems are going to be created than solved.”
Traders on Hambro Row, across from the bus stop, also showed concern at the bus stop moving.
David Chung, manager of Hambro Pharmacy opposite the bus stop, said vital trade could be lost because of the move. He added: “People come off the bus to use us and other shops, and others just walk past and end up coming in meaning we get a lot of passing trade.
“I don’t see it as a big issue really, it will be of no benefit to anyone and does no one any favours to move it. The stop has been here for years and not caused any real problems.”
THE bus stop proposal was put forward by members of the Rochford Local Highways Panel meeting at a recent meeting.
Colin Segears, chairman of the panel , said they were shown a video by officers of Essex County Highways showing delays of up to ten minutes for cars going through the roundabout when a bus was pulled in on Hullbridge Road.
He said: “The main reason for wanting the bus stop to move is that there is a degree of congestion at rush hour that occurs at that roundabout.
“In the district we’re at full capacity and the roads aren’t designed for the volume and weight of traffic that they take. That’s a key thing that I want to address on the panel.”
Other suggestions for changing the bus stop included doing nothing, removing the bus stop completely, removing and replacing it with two other stops and the option they chose – removing it and replacing with one stop.
Chris Black, also sits on the panel and voted against the plan. He said the video they were shown was of a bus that was stationary for longer than expected and no explaination was given as to why.
He said: “It’s not necessary to move it. My concern is that by moving the stop it will affect the services that use it. Buses that are coming along Rawreth Lane will no longer be able to use it, and people that want to use the bus stop will have to walk further to get to it.
“As far as I’m concerned it’s waste of money. There are big traffic problems along Rawreth Lane as it is and this is not going to make much difference to that.”
A final decision on moving the bus stop will be made by Rodney Bass, Essex County councillor for highways at a later date.
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