Battle begins for bus stop near new Fareham Tesco store

CAMPAIGNING Chris Arnold at the spot in West Street, Fareham, where he thinks a bus stop should be placed.  Picture: Allan Hutchings (120739-256)
CAMPAIGNING Chris Arnold at the spot in West Street, Fareham, where he thinks a bus stop should be placed. Picture: Allan Hutchings (120739-256)
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A DISABLED man is fighting to get a new bus stop put in close to the new Tesco store in Fareham.

Chris Arnold, who suffers from cerebral palsy, says he struggles to get to the bus stop in East Street outside Wykeham House girls’ school with all his shopping.

He wants a new stop nearer to the store in West Street, directly opposite the current one for the 5 or 1A service which goes in the other direction.

There are no bus stops directly outside the store and he said that walking to the bus station is a big struggle for him due to his disability.

Chris, 33, from Oysell Gardens in Portchester, said: ‘I come in to go shopping and pick up my groceries.

‘Having to deal with a bus station full of overcrowded people is difficult. This would be a lot easier for me.

‘When it’s wet and raining my legs are worse.

‘By the time I have walked to the bus station or over there I am soaked to the skin and freezing.

‘We’ve got a lot of elderly people and disabled people. It’s really badly thought out.

‘There are a lot of missed opportunities here.’

Chris said that it can take double the amount of time if his condition is bad on any particular day.

‘On a bad day it can take me between 10 and 12 minutes to walk up there,’ he said.

‘That’s while I’m still young and that’s still pretty bad. It’s awkward with my shopping.

‘They should review it. At the end of the day they want to encourage public transport.’

Karen Baxter, spokeswoman for First Bus, said: ‘Our team has reviewed the location and deemed it unsuitable for a stop.

‘This is because the location is a very busy spot, currently used as both a taxi rank and an unloading area.

‘In our opinion to site a bus stop there would be inappropriate and would cause potential blockages for other traffic in the area.’