Cost puts the brakes on bus shelter bid

IT’S often said that you can wait for a bus then two come along at once — well not in Morpeth’s Kirkhill estate.

For if you waited at the shelter in Springhill Walk, you’d be lucky to see a bus at all as the facility has been redundant since bus company Arriva changed its route last year.

But when residents asked Morpeth Town Council if it could move the shelter the few hundred yards to an alternative stop, they were told it would cost between £5,000 and £7,000 to relocate, while there would be further costs for repairing the footpath and if the shelter was damaged in the move it would be even more expensive to replace it.

Councillors were also told that there could be no guarantee that the bus operator would not alter the route again.

Deputy Council Clerk Angela Logan said: “It is unfortunate that the bus company has changed the route because up until then we had adequate shelters where the residents used them.

“Now we have got no guarantee that they won’t change the route again and moving bus shelters isn’t an easy option.”

Members of the council’s Property and Asset Management Committee said they could not justify spending the substantial funds required to relocate the shelter, but the authority will write to Arriva to ask if it will be prepared to stump up the cash.

Mayor Ken Brown said: “Perhaps we could write to the bus company to ask for a significant contribution to relocate this bus shelter and see what response we get. Even if it says no, at least it flags up to Arriva that changing bus routes has other consequences.

“It is a reasonable request from the residents, but it is a lot of money for the risks involved.”

However, a spokesman for Arriva appeared to rule out any contribution to the shelter relocation.

“All infrastructure to do with buses is the responsibility of the local authority,” he said.