Sidmouth pensioner pleas for better bus shelters

Bus users complain over lack of shelter at Stowford Rise and may soon see new shelters with seats installled

PENSIONER George Harris’s fight to get adequate bus shelters in Stowford Rise, may soon be over.

Sidmouth, Sidford’s county councillor, Councillor Stuart Hughes, says he has the problem in hand and will be discussing the matter with Sidmouth Town Council on Monday.

Last July, George, 86, of Le Locle Close, contacted Devon County Highways and was told it would be dealt with, but hasn’t heard anything more.

He said: “I feel so sorry for people waiting early in the morning in bad weather because they are open to the elements. People are getting drenched before they go anywhere.”

He and wife Betty, 80, who is semi-disabled, regularly use the X52 service into the town centre. The bench seat beside the wooden shelter near his home cannot be used on wet days as it is open to the elements. The bus stop opposite has no shelter.

“It is absolutely dreadful there when it is raining, and when it is windy, well God help us. It blows so hard it’s a job to get an umbrella up.

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“So many people come up here, such as ladies who shop at Waitrose then come back with handfuls of groceries and stand there with no shelter.”

He has even invited one in for coffee to keep warm while waiting for a bus.

As the area now has “hundreds” of new houses, new shelters with sides and seats should be installed, he said.

“I’m not being selfish about this. I feel so sorry for young mums with pushchairs who stand there in the rain because there is no shelter.”

Mr Hughes said: “The provision of shelters is already in hand and I’ll be bringing it before the town council on Monday to seek agreement to the placement of the shelters.”

DCC is in discussions with Fernbank Advertising Company of Launceston, about the possibility of siting new shelters with seats at Stowford Rise.

The company’s owner, Paul Harrison, said: “We are still at the negotiation stage, we haven’t done a survey of the area yet.”

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