ANGRY residents are urging Ringwood Town Council to look after their town centre shoppers by reinstating bus shelters before the winter weather worsens.
Bus users say they are fed up with being left sodden while laden with shopping bags while they wait at a Southampton Road bus stop.
Bus user Alan Ford said: “In rainy weather, particularly if it is breezy, I get very cold and wet. I am a pensioner and it is important for me to stay warm for health reasons.
“Many other people using this bus stop are even older than me and it is not funny sitting on a wet bench in freezing weather waiting for a bus, particularly if we have heavy shopping bags.
“People are unable to use cars for all sorts of reasons and we are also being encouraged to use public transport to help the environment, but the experience here in winter would put anyone off.
“The council needs to build a shelter before the weather worsens. It is a miniscule amount of money as compared to the likes of building the new Gateway.
“The residents of Ringwood are important.”
Deputy town clerk Jo Stannard told the Forest Journal that the bus shelter was something that residents have wanted reinstalled since the last one was dismantled after the roof was burnt by vandals several years ago.
It was agreed that the £5,000 bus shelter would be funded by developers’ transportation contributions, but these funds have not been forthcoming.
Ms Stannard said: “Developers contributions for transport come from the building of new houses. The bus shelter in Southampton Road would have to be seen as beneficial to the development.
“There have not been a huge number of new houses built in this area.”
She added: “The bus shelter will be discussed at our planning meeting on Friday. We are aware that people use it; however it is not used by lots of people.
“We installed a bench as a temporary measure. Because funds have not been forthcoming from the developers’ contributions, we will discuss on Friday if the funds can be found from next year’s budget.
“If members agree, it will be put to the policy and finance committee as a recommendation.”