Halesworth railway station turning space ‘unsafe’ for buses

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First BusImage copyright
Geograph/David Dixon

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First Bus says a purpose-built turning area at the station is unsafe to use because so many cars park nearby.

Buses will no longer stop outside a railway station after bosses ordered their drivers not to do three-point turns.

Passengers are campaigning against the decision for buses not to call at Halesworth railway station in Suffolk, leaving them a 200m walk to a stop.

First Bus says a purpose-built turning area at the station is unsafe to use because so many cars park nearby.

It was used by the previous operator, which ran the service until March.

Peter Coghill, of the East Suffolk Travellers Association, which has started the campaign, said passengers now faced walking “up a fairly stiffish incline on an unlit footpath” to get to the nearest bus stop.

“Why one bus company can’t do a three-point turn with passengers on board in a perfectly safe spot eludes me,” he said.

Image copyright
Google

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The turning point near the station is along a dead-end road

Call for U-turn

Services from the previous operator Konectbus called at the station in Halesworth via the cul-de-sac of Bungay Road, using the turning area to turn around and continue their route.

When that service was withdrawn, First Bus stepped in with a revised route which did not use Bungay Road.

First Bus’s head of operations, Chris Speed, said a risk assessment had highlighted problems.

“There are lots of people dropping off and picking up, particularly because the bus runs to meet the train,” he said.

“The cars are everywhere so the bus driver had a real struggle to reverse.”

Passenger Paul Widdowson said the previous service, which he used until March, was convenient for people using trains.

“I can’t see why that can’t still be done today,” he said.

“I would have thought that they’d be able to do a three-point turn, but I’m not a bus driver.”

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