Bus firm accused of 'putting profits before people'

WILTS & Dorset bus company has been accused of putting “profits before people” following its decision to sell off Amesbury bus station.

Town councillors have spoken out against the company’s plan to vacate the station this summer. And members of the Stonehenge Chamber of Trade have also expressed concerns, saying the bus station must be replaced with adequate bus stops to enable the same number of buses to stop in the town.

“This is nothing short of asset stripping by the bus company,” said cllr John Noeken. “Bringing buses to the centre of town is critical to the vitality of Amesbury.

“It appears that the bus company is putting profits before people – this is being done at the expense of the community, which will lose a valuable facility.

“One concern is what will happen to the bus station once the bus company moves out if they can’t find a buyer.

“It’s a large area and we don’t want the yobs all over it causing trouble if it’s left standing empty.”

It is likely the bus station will be replaced with roadside bus stops on the A345 at the edge of the town centre, which are currently grassy verges.

“Why should the centre of Amesbury have some of its greenness taken away?” asked cllr Richard Crook at a meeting of the town council last Tuesday.

“Are they going to destroy part of the town for new bus stops? We don’t know.”

But cllr Fred Westmoreland described the bus station as a “particularly ugly entrance to Amesbury”.

“If someone wanted to build a bus station there now, with all those problems with access, we would laugh in their faces – it’s in a ridiculous position,” he said.

“Maybe this could be an opportunity to have something better on the site to improve the town.” Andrew Wickham, managing director of Wilts & Dorset, said there are no plans to reduce services to and from Amesbury once the site is sold.

“We are working with Wiltshire Council and the local user group to consider convenient roadside locations for alternative bus stops within the town,” he said. “Our customers will be notified well in advance once final decisions have been made in time for our vacating of the unmanned bus station in the summer.”

Salisbury bus station will also be closed and sold off as part of the scheme, which Wilts & Dorset says will not result in job losses or cuts in services as buses will use existing stops.

Comments (5)

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8:50am Thu 17 Jan 13

hillyanne says...

As long as good shelters are provided in the town centre(near shops,library,etc.)i
t doesn't really need a bus station.All we do now is line up on a rather grotty,narrow path with inadequate seating ,staring out at a large empty space(and over-flowing litter bins) until a bus swings in.(Everyone moaned when our bus station was demolished(where I used to live)but we soon adapted and then wondered what all the fuss was about.(A very nice retirement complex was built on the site.)
As long as good shelters are provided in the town centre(near shops,library,etc.)i t doesn't really need a bus station.All we do now is line up on a rather grotty,narrow path with inadequate seating ,staring out at a large empty space(and over-flowing litter bins) until a bus swings in.(Everyone moaned when our bus station was demolished(where I used to live)but we soon adapted and then wondered what all the fuss was about.(A very nice retirement complex was built on the site.) hillyanne

2:45pm Thu 17 Jan 13

karlmarx says...

Ditto!
Where we used to live 25 years ago the bus station was sold off. A bus rank was constructed at the entrance to the shopping centre by the local council. Business soared for the shops and the bus companies, empty shops were back in business.
Ditto! Where we used to live 25 years ago the bus station was sold off. A bus rank was constructed at the entrance to the shopping centre by the local council. Business soared for the shops and the bus companies, empty shops were back in business. karlmarx

10:17pm Thu 17 Jan 13

markwillt says...

Sigh, more blocks of flats i suppose
Sigh, more blocks of flats i suppose markwillt

5:14pm Fri 18 Jan 13

Dr S Brule says...

Markwilts: are you homeless, or are you just a hypocrite?
Markwilts: are you homeless, or are you just a hypocrite? Dr S Brule

10:18am Tue 22 Jan 13

One Brown Cow says...

As one of the shops in Amesbury which often speaks with tourists visiting the town, the tree lined green spaces in the centre of Amesbury are often mentioned as a attractive place for visitors to stop and eat before looking around the town as well as making a stop in Amesbury look inviting.

Building bus stops in this area which already has a pedestrian crossing, access to a school nearby and the entrance to the main car park is surely some of the worst planning possible.

We already have a derelict bus shelter on Countess Road (I can provide a picture of this half demolished bus shelter if required) and disused bus stops from Amesbury to Durrington due to changes in bus routes.

The bus company has little more than a yard and an office at the current bus station in Amesbury, they should be forced to reuse some of their existing land to create a new smaller bus station, or the stops required, on the same site and only then be allowed to sell off any remaining land.

We are in grave danger of allowing Wilts and Dorset Buses to create another large vacant commercial site in the town centre and we all know how long it has taken us to get any kind of interest in the old Co-op site which has remained boarded up and derelict for over 6 years
As one of the shops in Amesbury which often speaks with tourists visiting the town, the tree lined green spaces in the centre of Amesbury are often mentioned as a attractive place for visitors to stop and eat before looking around the town as well as making a stop in Amesbury look inviting. Building bus stops in this area which already has a pedestrian crossing, access to a school nearby and the entrance to the main car park is surely some of the worst planning possible. We already have a derelict bus shelter on Countess Road (I can provide a picture of this half demolished bus shelter if required) and disused bus stops from Amesbury to Durrington due to changes in bus routes. The bus company has little more than a yard and an office at the current bus station in Amesbury, they should be forced to reuse some of their existing land to create a new smaller bus station, or the stops required, on the same site and only then be allowed to sell off any remaining land. We are in grave danger of allowing Wilts and Dorset Buses to create another large vacant commercial site in the town centre and we all know how long it has taken us to get any kind of interest in the old Co-op site which has remained boarded up and derelict for over 6 years One Brown Cow

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