Bus stop removal plans contradict BSIP work, says operator

Bus stop removal plans cause controversey

A row has broken out over a highway remodelling proposal by Central Bedfordshire Council (CBC) that will see the removal of a bus stop in favour of road space for all vehicles, which operator Grant Palmer says contradicts funded work to improve the county’s bus services.

The changes would see the loss of a southbound stop and its associated layby in Clophill that is served by routes including Grant Palmer’s 44 between Bedford and Flitwick. The work is to create additional capacity on the approach to a roundabout at the junction of the A6 and A507 roads, which CBC says suffers from congestion at peak times.

A diversion via Clophill Green for southbound 44 journeys – already served by northbound trips – would be introduced, but the operator says that the additional running time generated can only be mitigated by diverting to a more direct route between Clophill and Flitwick. That could lead to the village of Maulden being no longer served by route 44, it adds.

Grant Palmer says that the proposed move flies in the face of money awarded to CBC against its Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP). The operator claims that the highway alterations would deliver a saving to traffic of two to three minutes during peak hours “at the expense of longer journey times for bus users.”

Grant Palmer says it has called for service 44 to be one of several ‘superbus’ routes in the county that is targeted for investment in infrastructure, priority measures and service enhancements via the BSIP, although those plans are still being finalised by CBC.

While CBC acknowledges that its proposed road layout changes will see the removal of the bus stop in question, it has countered Grant Palmer’s concerns by saying that they will also assist buses during peak periods. Measures will also be taken to keep Clophill Green free from obstructions, “following feedback from bus operators.” A consultation on the plans will open soon.