Friday, 21 November 2014

Lib Dems meet residents over controversial Parkside bus stop

MP Julian Huppert will join Liberal Democrat councillors on Monday (November 24) to meet residents concerned about plans for a permanent long distance bus stop at Cambridge’s Parkside.

Their visit comes after they fought to prevent Cambridgeshire County Council making a decision on the £400,000 plan before carrying out a full review of alternative locations.

They claim the National Express buses would be better stopping at the railway station or Park and Ride sites instead where they could link up with other forms of transport and where infrastructure either will or can be more easily provided.

They also want residents living near the Parkside stop and passengers using the buses to have their say on its future.

Julian, who sat on the joint council committee which gave temporary permission for the bus stop, said: “When this permission was granted it was given on the understanding that it was never meant to be a permanent measure.

“This is such an important issue for the people living around Parkside and the people who use these buses. It’s a decision which cannot be taken until we have all the information and that means looking at all the alternative locations and listening to those who live near the bus stop and those travelling on the buses.

“We have received complaints from residents about the noise and fumes from the buses and it is important that their concerns are heard.”

Cambridge City Councillors supported a Lib Dem motion earlier this month to prevent the bus stop becoming permanent until the county council carried out a full review of alternative locations.

Cambridge Lib Dem Leader, Tim Bick, who will attend Monday’s meeting with residents said: “This was intended as a temporary bus stop and yet it has been in place for eight years during which time the county council has made no attempt to explore alternative locations.

“We don’t want the temporary use of Parkside to continue or permanent facilities put in place until this whole issue has been fully examined. We know we can do better than this satisfying both residents and those who travel on these buses.

"Long distance travellers should legitimately expect facilities such as toilets and a waiting room when getting on coaches or changing between them. But it is doubtful this is going to be possible to provide when the location remains at the edge of Parkers Piece, without throwing planning policy out of the window. To be able to look after their customers, National Express really needs to show some flexibility about the location and the county council some leadership."