Changes to bus route - could IT be the key to upgrading town’s transport?

Into Town bus on Strait Bargate, Boston. EMN-170910-102915001 EMN-170910-102915001
Into Town bus on Strait Bargate, Boston. EMN-170910-102915001 EMN-170910-102915001

Council leaders have agreed to look into changing the route of the controversial Into Town buses which pass through Strait Bargate - and say future proposals could look to bring the timetable for plans for Boston’s Transport Strategy forward.

Boston Borough’s Cabinet members yesterday (Wednesday) agreed to a Boston Town Area Committee recommendation to facilitate a meeting between themselves, the Operations Director of Brylaine Buses Malcolm Wheatley, and Lincolnshire County Council to discuss the route - which currently sees the vehicles travel along a pedestrianised area, beeping as they go.

The route has caused much consternation for residents over the past few years who see the regular passings as potentially dangerous and destructive to the path which the buses roll across.

Councillors agreed that changing the route was a priority.

However, members said a suggestion by Mr Wheatley to the BTAC committee that he would like to see physical changes to the Market Place, including a bus stop on Fish Hill, would be best used as part of plans resulting from the Boston Transport Strategy - a partnership document with LCC which was approved earlier this year – which suggests either a refurbishment of the current bus station or the development of a new transport hub.

Council leader Michael Cooper said: “Our main thing at the moment is this bus service. I think we can go forward with this talking to county and everybody but we need to roll this up with the Transport Strategy put together by LCC because they have already identified there is a lack within the town of bus service and that and the hubs are already in the strategy.

“If that was taken into account when this is looked into as well and trolled together that would be good going on forward.”

Coun Paul Skinner said it would be ‘really nice’ to put together a ‘piece of work’ looking at the service. He also suggested cycle routes could be included.

It was thought that the plans could potentially be ‘drawn forward’ by integrating Mr Wheatley’s suggestion with them. They said it would mean the council would not be faced with doing or re-doing the same job twice.

Deputy leader Michael Brookes added: “It makes sense to do it with the strategy because in there is the reference to upgrading the station or providing a new transport huba nd if you’re looking at those things it makes sense to look at it together and address it as a whole rather than piecemeal.

“We don’t want to do something and then find out six months on it’s counter to what we want to do.”

Councillors could not give a timescale for when things would proceed, but said they would ‘get people together as quickly as possible’.

They said however, that if it was simply changing the route that could be done and ‘the hard work could follow’.

The service causes a lot of worry for residents in the town, and following the story that BTAC wanted council leaders to meet with Brylaine readers made a number of comments on The Standard Facebook page.

Adrian Ross said: “Question I keep asking is WHY and HOW do they manage perfectly fine to use John Adams Way when the May Fair is in town? They are a danger and a menace on Market days through the Market Place and Straight Bargate, they think they own the road.

He added:”Needs stopping NOW!! lots of people don’t even come into town for fear of kids running out in front of them. They even beep pedestrians out of the way too in the precinct, usually old people that are hard of hearing, despicable behaviour!!!”

Julie Chapman suggested: “The buses could just turn round at boots and next then reverse the journey. My bigger gripe is people cycling through at speed i nearly got knocked on Saturday when about 4 or 5 youths went flying through at speed including one doing wheelies!”

Barney Mcgee responded: “You never see any police about town, no-one to stop them. The ‘turn round at Boots and Next’ is actually a very good idea..I rely on the buses all the time, and I know it’s dodgy, them going through the pedestrianised area..yours is the best idea I’ve seen or heard..you should put it to the council.”

Lorna Reeson said: “Strait bar gate was pedestrianised after too many accidents wasn’t it? Then they routed buses through. Needs a roundabout at either end of the pedestrian part.”

However others were not confident:

Yvonne Galley said: “It’s alright discussing about the buses being allowed to use Strait Bargate, but the conversation seems to die a death and nothing is resolved.”

For more on Boston’s Transport Strategy visit: https://www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/news/blueprint-for-better-boston-transport-network/130716.article