Pavement-mounting buses pose real danger warns Ottery resident

North Street in Ottery. Picture: Google

North Street in Ottery. Picture: Google - Credit: Archant

It is miraculous no one has been hurt according to an Ottery resident amid fears that kerb-mounting buses could cause serious damage.

A North Street resident, wrote to Stagecoach, which runs the bus service in the town, saying the size of the buses and timetable meant that residents, pedestrians and other road users are faced with severe delays along with a risk to their safety.

They said the increased traffic means repeated mounting of the pavement, striking of houses and damage to vehicles trying to pass and it has contributed to broken paving slabs.

They highlighted a time this year when two buses held up traffic for more than half an hour as they attempted to pass each other at the top of the hill. Both had to mount the pavement and drive narrowly past their property.

They said she asked one of the drivers why they did not use the radio to warn each other but was told by the driver that he did not have a radio.

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The situation was resolved when one of the buses reversed all the way back down the hill, causing the fleet of cars behind to also reverse.

The resident wanted to stress that is not solely buses that are causing the problem but instead any large vehicle such as tractors, large commercial vehicles and lorries and said that the roads are simply not wide enough.

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In a letter to Stagecoach as well as East Devon District Council and Ottery St Mary Town Council, the resident asked how long residents and road users were expected to tolerate this.

They even said some residents have experienced so much upset and concern due to these large vehicles striking their property that they have installed a CCTV camera as insurance.

Councillor Stuart Hughes is Devon County Council’s cabinet member for highways management, when asked by the Herald for a comment, he said: “The size of the bus is largely dictated by the peak capacity of a particular route. However, we will work with Stagecoach to see if there are any ways of reducing the likelihood of buses passing on this stretch of the hill.”

Claire Wright, Devon county councillor for the Otter Valley ward said: “I have written to Bob Dennison, the managing director of Stagecoach asking him to respond. It is very difficult. The road is narrow and there are cars parked all the way down the hill. Understandably, residents don’t want to lose their parking spaces so double yellow lines aren’t an option.”

The Herald approached Stagecoach for a comment, but had not heard back from them at the time of going to press

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