St Albans residents unhappy about bus service changes
PUBLISHED: 09:31 12 August 2019 | UPDATED: 09:31 12 August 2019
Concerns over road safety and the well-being of trees have prompted a group of residents to object to bus route changes.
Residents of Verulam Estate are unhappy about the imposed introduction of a new route for the S7, S8 and S9 services.
Currently, the buses travel around the estate in a circular route along Mayne Avenue, but the county council is planning to reverse the clockwise direction of travel.
This £100,000 project has led to a number of concerns, especially focused on safety, loss of mature trees and lack of consultation. Residents claim that the most serious adverse ecological impact has been the loss of trees.
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Several mature trees lining Mayne Avenue are to be felled to make way for the bus stops and extra footways needed.
Resident and former police chief superintendent Dr Robert Wareing said: "The safety issue is our number one concern. Some bus stops have been positioned too close to road junctions and too near sharp bends in the road. Residents, who are very familiar with the area, fear that stationary buses in such locations will cause obstruction and seriously restrict vision for other drivers, will mask traffic and be a potential accident risk."
Lack of consultation has also been a major source of contention. Robert said: "Many locals had no idea this scheme was happening until the work actually started. Even then, it was mainly just rumours. Only by walking the route and seeing the kerb-side markings for the new stops, could you see exactly what was planned."
He added: "If only local residents had been properly consulted about what they required and where to position the bus stops, all this eleventh hour wrangling could have been avoided."
Lib Dems County Councillor Sandy Walkington said: "The bus currently goes the wrong way round the estate so all the stops are on the other side of the road from where people live. The county council has a budget to improve the service and make it more accessible for disabled and less mobile people. We have consulted very heavily. The county council are going to replace the trees."