When a Stagecoach director questioned the position of an Eastbourne bus shelter, little did he know the chaos he would unleash.
Matthew Arnold posted on Twitter that a bus shelter in Cornfield Road had been installed the wrong way around, as part of a criticism of the ongoing works in the town centre.
But the outburst prompted scores of people to leap to the bus shelter’s defence, with many pointing out on the Eastbourne Herald Facebook page the direction makes sense as it would better protect people from the weather and the road.
John Martin said, “The bus shelters look the right way round to me with the screen facing the road. I thought it was a safety thing.”
And Norman Rae said, “To be fair to ESCC and Mildren Construction, the weather in this region comes predominantly from the West, so in torrential rain, if the shelters faced the other way they would have little effect in sheltering passengers.”
While Sharon Colwell pointed out, “Looks fine to me as it would protect you from puddle spray from vehicles.”
Others suggested there were more important issues to focus on. Bev Hemsley wrote, “They need to worry more about the awful bus service we have rather than the shelter.”
And Chris Lillywhite said, “I am more worried that the ‘new improved’ road colour outside the train station blends into the pavement and older people or children will walk or run into it oblivious of the busy traffic conditions to be honest!”
Echoing Chris’ sentiments, James Constable said, “Is it just me or does anybody else miss a good old fashioned kerb so I can tell I’m on a road or footpath?”
Matt Holmes added, “The daily excitement of not knowing if I’m walking on the road, pavement or bus lane is exhilarating.”
And, remarking on the shelters again, Carole King said, “The amount of time you have to wait for a bus (in particular a Loop), you’d think they would provide something more comfy!”
But Sonny Luxford simply said, “[I] think some people need to appreciate the money that is being spend on the town to improve it.”
In a Twitter poll, 54 per cent of people said the bus stop was in fact the right way around, with 46 per cent disagreeing. It is an issue as divisive as Brexit, it seems.
But Twitter user The Ranty Highwayman wrote, “It depends, but if the footway is wide enough, the best layout has the open side of the stops facing the road which makes it easier to see the buses coming and means wheelchair users can stay under cover to board rear doors (if that’s the type of bus).”
So there’s that. Maybe we will never know the right answer. Maybe it doesn’t matter? No, surely not.