Azara Blog: Cambridge plumps for new bus stops on Parkside

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Date published: 2006/01/18

The Cambridge Evening News says:

Parents and residents have slammed a decision to place long distance bus stops outside a school and a nursery saying it will cost lives.

Following a heated two-hour debate, Cambridge City councillors voted to move the long distance National Express bus services from the Drummer Street and Emmanuel Street area to Parkside.

Three bus stops and a taxi rank will be placed outside Parkside Community College and ACE Nursery School.

Paula Watson, head of ACE Nursery, said: "We are seriously concerned a child will be injured or killed as a result of this decision.

"We will continue to fight the decision which we view as outrageous. We really can't believe the council has decided to allow it."

Sheila Pollock, from the Stop the Bus campaign, said: "Nowhere else in the country would allow a bus stop outside a senior school and a nursery - both of which are for particularly vulnerable age groups. There is a heavy movement of children along the road at all times of the day."

Members of the Cambridge traffic area joint committee, which met on Monday, considered two possible options for relocation - Victoria Avenue and Parkside.

About 50 interested members of the public turned out to listen to the two-hour debate.

Councillors admitted it was a very difficult decision and that both options were very far from perfect.

Councillor Sian Reid, said: "My instinct is to ban buses from all green spaces. However, we must improve conditions for bus passengers - at the moment there are pitiful delays.

"To put bus stops on Parkside is unpalatable but preferable to Victoria Avenue, which is not a viable option."

Victoria Avenue was dismissed as unsafe and inconvenient.

Seven members of the committee voted in favour of the bus stop. They were Shona Johnston, Sian Reid, Colin Rosenstiel, Jenny Bailey, David White, Julian Huppert and Anne Kent.

Two councillors, Kevin Blencowe and Alan Baker voted against.

Hmmm, Victoria Avenue is allegedly "unsafe" but Parkside is not. The logic of Lib Dems. And Reid's comment about banning buses from "all green spaces" is bizarre, considering that the city not too long ago set up bus parking (which always causes problems) along Queens' Green. Anyway, it seems that the bus companies preferred Parkside over Victoria Avenue, and that presumably swung the vote. Of course if the people of Parkside do not like the result then they can vote against the Lib Dems at the next election, which would be no bad thing.

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