Thursday, February 7, 2013
Residents say their peace and quiet has been ruined by buses waiting outside their homes.
RESIDENTS of Saunton Park in Braunton have been left outraged after their quiet road has turned into a ‘makeshift bus depot’.
Michael Screech, who lives in West Meadow Road, moved to North Devon with his wife Susan to enjoy the peace and quiet in 1994.
But since the bus timetables changed a couple of months ago Mr Screech told the Gazette he often has two or three buses sat outside his home at a time.
He said: “I have no problem with the extra buses, but do not see why they must use West Meadow Road as a terminus where they sit for more than five minutes, some with their engines still running.
“During the recent bad snowfall at Mullacott Cross, the number 21 service could not get to Ilfracombe; consequently we had four buses in the vicinity; two of them in the Saunton Road and two of them in West Meadow Road.
“I have suggested to Stagecoach and Braunton Parish Council that the derelict garage on the Ilfracombe Road would be an ideal place to use as a terminal.
“No reply has been given to this suggestion and my next request may be to the county council to look into this matter and because of the nuisance value of this ‘terminal’ reduce my council tax.”
Mrs Screech said she didn’t see why the buses could not use the lay by on Saunton Road opposite the entrance to West Meadow Road.
She said: “Everything rattles in the house when they sit there with their engines on, and I don’t want to open the windows with the diesel fumes they are pumping out.
“I don’t see why they can’t extend the service to Croyde or Georgeham as I am sure they would benefit from more bus services.”
The couple’s neighbour Wendy Poutney has also complained about the buses.
She said: “When they are parked opposite my house they don’t seem to understand I can’t get my car out without trying to turn it around on the grass.
“I dread to think what the rattling from the engines is doing to the foundations of the houses, and the fumes make me feel physically sick.”
A spokesman for Stagecoach said: “West Meadow Road is at the end of route 21A and it is therefore necessary for buses to stop for a couple of minutes to ensure the service runs to time on the return journey, and for the driver to change the destination blind.
“Our drivers have been instructed to switch their engines off to minimise any impact on the local residents.
“We are not aware of any regular occasions when there are three buses present, but when the road to Ilfracombe has been closed due to floods and snow we have had to send buses on route 21 there to turn around and wait for the right time to slot back in to the timetable.”