With opposition of considerable size thwarting proposals for a bus link in Newton Abbot, residents react to the result.
THE Bradley Lane Bus Link proposal, which has since been ‘shelved’ by Teignbridge District Council due to ‘significant’ public opposition, would have seen the 77, with scope for the 88 and 88C also, re-routed from Ashburton Road, along Barton Drive, Hunterswell Road and Bradley Lane; as well as a bus gate created between Hunterswell Road and Bradley Lane.
Some 79.6 per cent of the 413 total respondents did not support the Bradley Lane Bus Link proposal, with 15.25 per cent in favour and the remaining respondents either neutral or undecided on the matter.
There was, however, a general consensus that the proposals were neither wanted nor needed, with several concerns being shared among respondents such as the loss of parking, loss of trees and green space and increased levels of pollution.
The proposal, as it was presented during the consultation, would see a bus gate built between Hunterswell Road and Bradley Lane: 78.97 per cent of respondents were against the idea - 24.5 per cent believed the gate would, in time, open up to, and be abused by, other traffic and, therefore, the route would end up a rat run.
An ardent voice against the proposal, Rick King, who lives in Hunterswell Road, said: ‘We all feel really pleased at the result and more so thanking everybody for their support, I think if we had not done something then this would have gone ahead.
‘Having spoken to a few people over the last couple of days, they all believed this was a paper exercise and it was going to go ahead anyway.
‘I am really grateful to the council and all those involved for listening to what people thought about it, their objections and they are all strong and valid objections.
‘A great result for us, the residents and there are a lot of happy people, which is great.’
68.05 per cent of respondents said they never use the current 77, 88 and/or 88c bus services, with 81.48 per cent saying they would never use the proposed re-routed versions of these services - just under ten per cent said they would use the new proposed route.
As with many a consultation, the final question asked for further comment, the most common of which stated that the proposal was not needed and would not reduce congestion on Ashburton Road.
John Mitchell, who lives in Manor Road and was one of the many opposition voices, said: ‘I am very pleased, I think common sense has prevailed.
‘The plan was very flawed in many ways and didn’t take into account the quality of life of the people living in Barton Drive, Hunterswell Road, Bradley Lane and elsewhere. I think the proposal might have been a knee jerk reaction to buses not running on time but certainly it was not thought out because there were so many things about the plan that didn’t let it hang together properly.
‘80 per cent must be some sort of record!
‘An important thing that we have proved is that, if you make a loud enough noise, and if you do it sensibly, properly and logically, the council will be forced to take notice.’
• To view Teignbridge District Council’s repsonse to the Bradley Lane Bus Link, including the full consultation report, visit - https://www.teignbridge.gov.uk/council-and-democracy/consultation/bradley-lane-bus-link-proposal-response/