Council install bus stop in no-stopping zone

A COUNCIL has been criticised for wasting taxpayer's money after it paid to install a bus stop on a road where it was an offence for drivers to stop at.

Russell Claydon

A COUNCIL has been criticised for wasting taxpayer's money after it paid to install a bus stop on a road where it was an offence for drivers to stop at.

Residents hoping to catch a bus from a newly built stop on the A1071 at Hadleigh found themselves being left high and dry when buses kept hurtling past, after drivers were told it was against the law to pull over.

Suffolk County Council faced accusations of pouring �3,600 of taxpayer's money down the drain after the bizarre situation ended with it sending out workmen to take out the stop within months of building it.

A tarmac platform and dropped kerbs, along with a bus stop pole, were installed by the junction of Coram Street on the Hadleigh bypass in the summer.

But last week residents could not believe their eyes when they spotted the area was coned off whilst the stop was stripped out.

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Jon Garrad, a designer who lives in Coram Street, said the community did not even realise a bus stop was due to go in, but the ensuing situation was simply a “waste of money”.

He said: “The drivers refused to stop there because it was a clearway, which is fair enough, but it is a shame we did not have it put into a lay-by - it is all wasted money.

“It was installed and taken away within a few months. The local community have got used to the idea and it was a shame as it was a very useful thing for us.”

The 62-year-old was planning to ditch his car in favour of the bus for his commute to work, but has now been forced to scrap the greener idea.

He added: “I do not blame the bus company. I think there has been a breakdown in communication and it has cost a fair bit of money. It is all a waste and we are all paying for it.”

A bus driver on the route, who wished to remain anonymous, described the situation they were faced with as “madness”.

He said: “We were all clearly given an instruction not to stop there. It is in a highway zone in a clearway.

“If you are going to put a bus stop there it needs to be in a lay-by so buses can come off there.”

He added: “If you were to drive down there you would see it is in a no stopping zone.

“It is an offence for us to stop there.”

A spokeswoman for Suffolk County Council admitted it was a clearway and that although an exemption for buses could be registered there, it had not been. She denied this was the reason why bus drivers were not stopping there though, saying it was because some of them felt it was too dangerous.

She said: “The stops were built following a request from local residents. The stops were removed because the commercial service on that route considered this stretch of road too dangerous and would not stop.

“We are disappointed that this bus stop has had to be removed, but we could not have a bus stop that some drivers stopped at and others not.”

She added: “It is a clearway but there are exemptions which can be put in for certain vehicles, although we did not do it we could of.”

She insisted closer departmental working was now in place.

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