Bus chiefs back down to people power

PEOPLE power has won the day after bus chiefs backed down on re-routing a service through a narrow street.First Eastern Counties had planned to alter the number four service, which runs through the Bixley estate, using Wimborne Avenue which is two metres thinner than the roads on the existing route.

PEOPLE power has won the day after bus chiefs backed down on re-routing a service through a narrow street.

First Eastern Counties had planned to alter the number four service, which runs through the Bixley estate, using Wimborne Avenue which is two metres thinner than the roads on the existing route.

At just 4.7 metres wide, residents claimed that buses passing each other on the road would have just a three inch gap.

However, after a petition was started and councillors lent their support to the protests, the bus company opted to rethink its plans.

Now, the number four service will continue as before, with buses travelling along Ashdown Way and Arundel Way.

Wimborne Avenue residents group spokesman Mel Griffiths described the change of heart as "brilliant news".

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He said: "When I told the residents, they were all amazed. Some of them didn't believe it.

"I don't think the bus company looked into it sufficiently. But it's brilliant the decision has been changed.

"There are children who get dropped off by their parents on their way to school so there were safety considerations and the road is simply not wide enough."

The first any of the residents from Bixley knew about the changes came after they read The Evening Star last Saturday, prompting concerns over a lack of public consultation.

The changes had been due to come into force on August 29.

Paul Carter, Bixley borough councillor said: "It really is power to the people. "All the residents stuck together and came across as a united front.

"They've looked into it and realised the road is smaller. The residents have got results."

A spokeswoman for First Eastern Counties said the service would not change.

She added: "We can confirm the bus service will continue to run as it is now and will not run along the proposed roads."

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