A VILLAGE faces losing a bus service – because its streets are too narrow.
Residents in Titchfield are angry that the 4A service is facing the axe. They were told at a community action group meeting that it’s because buses can no longer safely fit down the village’s narrow streets.
Chris Bainbridge, business performance director for First said: ‘New legislation coming in to enable wheelchair access has meant buses are getting bigger, and this poses a problem in Titchfield where roads are narrow.
‘We have carried out a risk assessment along St Margaret’s Lane and it was decided there was no way we could safely get a bus down there. As a result, service 4A is very likely to be withdrawn.’
Paula Weaver, 81, from Ransom Close said: ‘You are cutting the people on the estate off. It is disgraceful that buses cannot get past the cars in South Street that shouldn’t be there anyway. There should be double yellow lines and those people not approving this should be ashamed of themselves.’
Ms Bainbridge said: ‘I can’t change the roads and I can’t decide if there will be double yellow lines. I also can’t decide whether less parking is enforced for the narrow roads.’
Joyce Brien, 84, from Ransom Close said the problem started when Titchfield square was removed. She said: ‘The cars and vans in the old square are parked longways and they shouldn’t be parked like that as vehicles can’t get through.
‘One of the bus accidents was caused by a van reversing into an oncoming bus and smashing into its doors’.
Ms Bainbridge responded and said: ‘I have spent £130,000 repairing the buses and that is no good for First. We don’t like cutting bus services but I can’t continue putting drivers at risk and any further damage to vehicles which are being clipped along narrow roads in Titchfield.’
The residents said the solution was to reinstate the square so that cars could no longer park there.
County councillor Geoff Hockley said: ‘This is a problem that is not going to go away. However, the bus service is critical for the people of Titchfield and it would be catastrophic if it was stopped.