Brighton & Hove Labour For the many, not the few
Following a series of complaints about the bus stop being taken away from outside the Eye Hospital in Brighton Kemptown, Councillor Nancy Platts has been trying to get an update. It has taken a while to get clear answers and Cllr Platts said:
“I am not happy with the solutions being found – in fact, I find them quite bizarre!
“Apparently, the developers needed the shelter outside the Eye Hospital (westbound bus route) to come down to put in the new crossing, because a bus stop must be clear of a crossing. This has left us with no shelter on that side of the road.
“To rectify this, the Council are going to move the shelter from outside the main hospital site (eastbound bus route) across the road, leaving the eastbound side of the road without a shelter instead.
“The reason given for this was that the “eastbound is more of a ‘drop off’ stop than a boarding one.” I have been sent the numbers of people using each stop between 1st September and 29th November. Westbound had 97,683 passengers in this period, with an average of 1086 passengers a day. Eastbound had 14,307 passengers board at this stop, with an average of 159 passengers a day.
“Whilst the numbers for the Eastbound stop are a lot lower, that’s not of much comfort if you are one of the 159 people waiting at a bus stop in the rain and getting soaked to the skin because there is no shelter!
“The answer as to why this wasn’t all sorted out and bus shelters ordered months ago is because the last shelter earmarked for BHCC was not structurally sound enough to be reused and the Council had to look for more.
“The plan is to move the eastbound stop further east next to the new entrance to the hospital. The Council has been promised another temporary shelter in the New Year for this stop.
“I asked why we must use temporary shelters and borrow shelters. The answer is that;
‘Temporary shelters are sourced through our current contractor from a rolling inventory and are essentially ‘borrowed’ from other areas as they become available. As replacement orders are received in these other areas of England, a request to acquire the shelter that is being removed to be shipped to Brighton and Hove is escalated. The Council do not have funds to purchase shelters this year or next sadly.’
“According to the developer’s plan, the permanent bus stop will not be in place until the project is nearer completion which, at this point, is in three years’ time.”
Councillor Platts said:
“We have put in place a multi-million pound hospital but can’t afford a bus shelter on each side of the road, so the Council is swapping them from one side of the road to the other!
“I am hoping someone can contribute the funding to enable us to have a shelter for people on both sides of the road – it seems to undermine health interventions if people come out of the hospital after treatment only to get soaked in the rain afterwards
“Meanwhile, it seems we are being left having to share one bus shelter outside our newly built multi-million hospital!”
Councillor Platts will be raising further questions on the bus shelters at upcoming Hospital Liaison Group meetings.