Bus stop changes make travel safer and easier for passengers
Bus passengers, particularly those with disabilities, will find it easier and safer to use services after work was carried out at several bus stops around Oxfordshire.
Oxfordshire County Council has created ‘build-outs’ at bus stops in Acre Street in Eynsham, and Corn Street and Newland in Witney. It followed concerns from bus operator Stagecoach about some passengers having difficulties getting on and off buses safely at these locations.
The work followed extensive local consultation, with the scheme in Eynsham set to be reviewed in 2022. It forms part of the council’s ongoing commitment to support local bus services and its response to the government’s National Bus Strategy.
Councillor Tim Bearder, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways Managements, said: “Making improvements to the public transport system helps reduce our reliance on car journeys, and work like this will make it easier for people to use the bus and thereby cut carbon emissions.
“We will continue our efforts to support bus travel through delivering accessibility improvements across the county where they are needed.”
Delays at these three locations were adversely affecting the reliability of bus services, so these improvements will also help to improve bus journey times by speeding up boarding and alighting.
Oxfordshire County Council funded the work, which cost around £20,000, through its Bus Journey Time Reliability programme.
Rachel Geliamassi, Managing Director at Stagecoach West, said: “We are very pleased with the improvements to the bus stops in Eynsham and Witney. The new build-outs offer improved access for all passengers, including wheelchair users and those with pushchairs.
“The raised walkways also prevent passengers from having to walk through parked cars to reach the bus stop, improving safety for both pedestrians and drivers. The changes support our mission to offer simple, convenient and comfortable bus travel to all Oxfordshire residents.”
Public transport operators and highway authorities – such as Oxfordshire County Council – must make reasonable adjustments for all users so that disabled passengers are not disadvantaged. Providing access between a low-floor bus and the footway is crucial to fulfilling those duties.
The improvements also help the needs of other disabled groups, such as blind or cognitive impaired bus passengers, as well as those carrying heavy luggage and pushchairs.
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