‘Inadequate’ bus stops have been slammed by an Eastbourne councillor who is demanding council action.
Conservative borough councillor Robert Smart penned a letter to the county council, after a meeting at the Town Hall with Stagecoach about improving the quality of bus stops for passengers travelling between Meads and the town centre.
Mr Smart, who represents Meads, said, “With the town centre improvements almost completed it is very clear the provision of stops for Meads bus services is wholly inadequate.
“We all want to encourage bus usage but, in this case, I believe there has been inadequate consultation despite a multi-million expenditure on these town centre improvements.
“There is time to get it right and I urge the council to look into the issue as a matter of urgency.
“The only bus stop planned for Meads is opposite the railway station and it’s far too small, with no seating, and with the barrier facing the wrong way to protect passengers from the weather and the road.
“To make matters worse, eliminating the previously well-used bus stop from the other end of the town centre at the Memorial Roundabout, at the end of Cornfield Road, is plainly ridiculous. It continues to be an ideal location with a wide pavement access for re-routed Meads bus services.”
Mr Smart said if the stop at the Memorial Roundabout was scrapped then one at Lushington Road, between Connaught Road and Cornfield Road, would be better.
An East Sussex County Council spokesperson said, “Decisions about location, orientation and size of bus shelters included as part of the Eastbourne Town Centre Improvement Scheme were taken, following lengthy discussions with bus operators and a public consultation.
“An additional bus stop was also added in South Street near the Memorial Roundabout, at the request of bus operators.
“Any changes to the configuration of bus stops at this late stage would involve considerable additional work and expense.
“Seating will, in due course, be added to the bus shelter in Terminus Road opposite the railway station.
“This shelter is currently being used as a temporary replacement for the busy stop near Ivy Terrace, and so is handling more passengers than normal.
“Once work near Ivy Terrace is completed, passengers will be redirected back to the bus stop there, which will significantly reduce the number of people using the Terminus Road stop.
“We’re now in the final stages of the scheme, which is having a major impact on improving the town centre, making it more attractive for residents and visitors and boosting the town’s economy.”
A Stagecoach spokesperson said, “I understand a new bus shelter has been installed in Terminus Road, however there is no seating included in the infrastructure.
“This was raised by councillors and others at the meeting at Eastbourne Town Hall last Wednesday (October 9).
“It was agreed these concerns should be put to East Sussex County Council which is responsible for the town centre redevelopment works and bus stop facilities.”