Anger over buses using narrow lane

By David Newble

Thursday, November 5, 2009

 

Anger over buses using narrow lane

Double-decker buses in Pixley Hill, which residents are trying to have banned.

ANGRY residents living along a narrow lane in the West Wight are demanding a face-to-face meeting with Southern Vectis and council highways bosses to try to get large buses banned from their road.

Stopping double-decker vehicles driving along Copse Lane and Pixley Hill on the outskirts of Freshwater was the 'number-one priority’ voiced by residents at a packed meeting of the Totland and Freshwater Community Forum.

At the meeting, around 150 residents asked for an enforcement of a 6ft 6in width restriction in the lane and claimed their concerns were not being taken seriously by either the IW Council or Southern Vectis.

However, the council said a recent safety inspection showed there were no grounds to alter the route.

Residents expressed their anger that nobody from either organisation had been present at the meeting.

West Wight resident Brenda Fishwick said: "Over the weeks, I have had first-hand experience of difficulties negotiating Copse Lane, and particularly Pixley Hill, with double-decker buses.

"Anyone with half a brain can see there isn’t enough room for a large vehicle such as a Southern Vectis double-decker bus to pass even the smallest of cars along this stretch of road."

Southern Vectis operations manager Marc Morgan Huws said it was the IW Council’s responsibility to determine whether the route was suitable for buses.

"They told us it was entirely safe to use Pixley Hill," he said.

In February, more than 1,200 people signed a petition calling on the council to ban big buses from using the route.

A council spokesman said Southern Vectis remained convinced the route was necessary to maintain the level of service in the West Wight.

"Pixley Hill is one of a number of areas that in recent years have attracted public complaint about the size  of vehicles deployed by Southern Vectis," he said.

"However, many of the the width restrictions that protect these areas from general misuse  contain exemptions for bus services and this limits the ability of the council to control such matters."

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