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Pressing ahead with bus stops despite 'no public support'
WILTSHIRE Council is to press ahead with plans for new bus stops in Salisbury despite a report stating there is “no public support” for the proposals.
Work will start this weekend on building new bus stops in Castle Street, Milford Street and Endless Street to accommodate 14 buses an hour following Wilts & Dorset bus company’s decision to close Salisbury bus station in January next year.
But the plans have angered city councillors and business owners who say the scheme will be dangerous for pedestrians and cyclists, and have a detrimental impact on the city centre.
Company bosses in Milford Street have joined forces to fight the plan, saying the extra bus stops will increase traffic congestion and pollution near their premises and result in a loss of trade.
“This is just not the right place for more bus stops,” said Derri Southwood of Twenty One B ladies’ fashion store.
“The buses swing over the pavement making it dangerous for pedestrians, and traffic overtaking the parked buses will be forced onto the other side of the road, making it even more congested.
“The buses will block the light going into my shop and make it harder for people to see that I’m here.”
The Royal British Legion Club in Endless Street has opposed the plans for new bus stops outside its premises.
They say it will be harder for members, especially the disabled, to reach the club if the pavement is full of people, including hundreds of school children in term time, waiting for buses.
And cyclists have objected to the loss of a cycle feeder lane to make way for new bus stops in Castle Street.
They say visibility for cyclists will be impaired at the junction with Avon Approach and it will be more dangerous to cycle along the busy road.
“It is not considered that the replacement bus stops and layover bays proposed provide a suitable and safe alternative to the facilities provided by the bus station.”
A Wiltshire Council report seen by the Journal acknowledges “there is no public support for the council’s proposals” and “significant local opposition at elected member level”.
Despite this, work will start on the Endless Street bus stops on Sunday and
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