Buses should slow

I DO have a degree of sympathy with Paul Doran (Herald letters, December 30), whose wife was struck by a bus on Chapel Road.

Buses do not seem to take sufficient consideration of pedestrians.

I have personally had a bus driver blare the horn at me on South Street when I absently wandered into his path, and I have witnessed several other similar incidents.

I have to say that it gave me a fright.

What made me angry was that there was sufficient distance to allow the bus to simply slow and let me pass.

I am aware there have been a number of incidents over the past years – which the recent improvements in Chapel Road were designed to help prevent.

However, the reality remains that it is a mixed pedestrian vehicle area and the demarcation of boundaries between vehicles and pedestrians is not clear.

Because of this, it is easy for pedestrians to be less aware of the traffic.

It is a fact that some of the buses and taxis do travel at inappropriate speed and this is, at the least, threatening to pedestrians as they pass.

Because vehicles tend to be quiet – especially when they are approaching, there is little warning.

It is particularly disturbing for the elderly and the nervous.

The infrequency of the traffic as the area is just restricted to mainly buses and taxis also lulls the pedestrians into a false sense of security and causes them to drop their usual awareness of road traffic.

I cannot see how the buses could be re-routed, as Mr Doran suggests, without serious inconvenience to travellers and damage to the economic heart of the town.

Unless something becomes available, there is no other area close to the town centre that could feasibly accommodate a bus station with the present levels of traffic – even if the resources for such a development were available.

However, I do believe the situation could be improved if the taxis and buses agreed to limit their speeds in this local area – and gave more priority and consideration to pedestrians.

It is, after all, already a 20mph zone.

At the same time, signage could be improved warning pedestrians of the risks.

I would certainly be interested to hear the views of other users of Chapel Road and South Street.

David Chapman


Wiston Avenue