CAMBRIDGESHIRE County Council will press ahead with its plan for a new bus stop in St Ives town centre – despite safety fears from its own officials.
The stop, outside Hyperion, in Station Road, was proposed by the council in January, but St Ives Town Council raised concerns about safety because it is near the Market Hill junction.
The county’s own road safety report recommended alterations to the plan, devised to reduce congestion caused by the guided bus traffic lights in Harrison Way, because it could “increase collisions if it wasn’t built further away from the junction or redesigned”.
However, Bob Menzies, the county’s head of major infrastructure delivery, believes “the location chosen for the stop is the correct one”. It is claimed the bus stop would reduce the number of people crossing Harrison Way to reach some guided bus services and the number of times cars would have to stop on the ring road – a major cause of congestion.
Town councillor Colin Saunderson, chairman of the St Ives Road Safety Committee, said bus stops in East Street and The Quadrant were better positioned.
He said: “I was told that a bus stop outside Waitrose was too far from the bus station and the town centre. Later, I checked the stops in Cambridge for route A and found that they were New Square and Regent Street, which are some distance from the city centre. I felt conned.”
A county spokesman said: “The location for the bus stop was selected from a number of locations on Station Road on the basis of several factors, including the space available, impact on parking, including parking enforcement, disabled parking and loading, the entrance to the bus station and exit from the existing car park, and the proximity to the bus station for passengers wishing to change between services.”