‘There’s no cash to fix burnt-out bus shelter’

The Three Cornered Plot bus stop burnt down on Boxing Day

The Three Cornered Plot bus stop burnt down on Boxing Day - Credit: Archant

A fire-damaged bus shelter in the centre of Sidmouth was removed this week because the district council does not have the cash available to repair it.

The wooden structure at the Three Cornered Plot went up in flames on Boxing Day and had sat cordoned-off since.

East Devon District Council (EDDC) had been waiting for the outcome of an insurance claim before starting any work.

The authority announced this week that the claim had been rejected because its policy does not cover street furniture.

The council says it does not have the budget to cover the £4,000 to £6,000 needed for repairs or a replacement, so the shelter was removed for safety purposes.

Councillor John Dyson, who represents Sidmouth on both the town and district councils, told the Herald it was ‘very poor’ that a decision was taken without consulting the town.

He said: “We get people who use that shelter throughout the year - I have seen times in bad weather when both of those shelters are full.

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“I consider it very disappointing indeed that the district council would not make arrangements to have it repaired or replaced.

“It has taken an enormously long time before anything has been done about it, and I think it is very poor they did not consult with the town council.”

The shelter had previously been targeted by an arsonist in January 2014, but on that occasion the relatively minor damage was repaired.

An EDDC spokeswoman said: “Our StreetScene repairs team has inspected the site and it is estimated that to rebuild the shelter in hardwood will be almost as expensive as purchasing a new one - approximately £4,000 to £6,000, depending on size.

“For that reason and because we have no budget to replace bus shelters since the budget was removed in the 2009/10 budget cuts, we very much regret that we will have to remove the shelter and make the area safe.

“This is consistent with the approach we have used elsewhere.”