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Amesbury still missing its bus shelters
AMESBURY bus station closed on Saturday but new shelters are still months away from being built.
People catching buses from the town centre this week have been forced to stand in the rain, getting cold and wet while they wait for their bus to arrive.
And it is unlikely that the shelters will be built before April.
After Wilts & Dorset bus firm decided to close the town’s bus station, Wiltshire Council built new bus stops and pull-ins on the side of the A345, the main road through the town.
On Monday the new bus stops were in use but no shelters have been built to make passengers more comfortable.
“I think something has gone very wrong here,” said Amesbury councillor John Noeken. “The left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing.
“We were led to believe that the bus shelters would be in place before the bus station closed, but clearly this has not happened and there has been some delay.
“With the awful weather we are having, this is not going to make people happy.”
Bus passenger Mike Hitchen of Durrington told the Journal: “Standing in the freezing rain makes me think I’ll catch the bus only in the summer months, if there still is one to catch.”
Planning permission has been granted to turn Amesbury’s former bus station into a car park.
Its closure came exactly 99 years after the Wilts & Dorset company was founded in Amesbury on January 4, 1915.
The relocation of the bus stops caused a row last summer, with residents living near the new pull-ins raising fears about antisocial behaviour and the possible impact on property prices.
But Wiltshire Council decided there was no suitable alternative location and the bus stops needed to be located at the side of the A345.
A Wiltshire Council spokesman said: “Although we had no influence over the decision to close the bus station, we have worked extremely hard to minimise the inconvenience to the public. These shelters are important to local people and we are pleased to provide them.
“The shelters will be delivered to us by the end of February and will be installed at the earliest opportunity.”
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