Fears parked cars will slow fire engines after Peterborough bus service changes route

Coun. John Whitby at the unused bus stop at Chapel Street, Stanground EMN-180223-162912009
Coun. John Whitby at the unused bus stop at Chapel Street, Stanground EMN-180223-162912009
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The decision to change a city bus route due to parked cars has been challenged by a councillor who fears the problem will also impact the fire service.

Cllr John Whitby, UKIP member for Fletton and Stanground on Peterborough City Council, was speaking after Stagecoach decided earlier this year to alter its number 3 service to go through Coneygree Road in Stanground instead of Chapel Street.

Cllr Whitby said: “If they are having problems getting through with their buses the fire brigade will have problems getting through with their engines.”

Cllr Whitby also had reservations about Stagecoach’s suggestion that affected residents can access the council’s dial-a-ride service, as he suggested that would put more costs onto the council.

He added: “Some of the people who are not disabled but find walking a distance difficult will be cut off unless they want to use the council’s dial-a-ride service.

“We are trying to reduce the number of car journeys but people will find it easier to get in their car so they will drive.”

Andy Campbell, managing director of Stagecoach East, said delays due to parked cars meant the change had to be made. He added: “This change will benefit most passengers because it will make the service more reliable. We recognise that some people may be inconvenienced – and for this we apologise.

“However, no one will be left stranded because Peterborough City Council’s dial-a-ride service will be available to any customers on Chapel Street who may have difficulty accessing the revised bus stops for this service.”

Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service was approached for a comment but had not replied at the time of going to press.