Ipplepen Parish Council – Bus Service Report to Council –

Tuesday 6 September 2022

Background.

Country Bus Devon is the Local Bus Operator who currently provide a service to Ipplepen with six stops (Clampitt Road x 2, Wellington Inn, Caunters Close, The Hub and Foredown Road) in the village.

Country Bus Devon are the largest independent bus operator in Devon who run 31 local bus services along with many school buses.

 

There has for some considerable time been issues of the bus service either being unable to consistently and easily access the part of the route from the Wellington Inn to the Co-op due to inconsiderate parking creation a bottleneck on the route.

This has been an ongoing issue in which an application for a Traffic Order requesting an extension of Yellow No Parking lines was turned down because it lacked the support from residents.

 

The issue around parking cannot be resolved by Yellow No Parking lines due to the legislation that allows vehicle owners to park for 10 minutes without penalty whilst loading/unloading and the lack of traffic enforcement officers available to monitor parking patterns.

 

Following yet another collision with a parked vehicle Country Bus Devon posted a notice on the bus stops in Clampitt Road (opposite Crokers Way), Wellington Inn and Caunters Close that,

 

Due to ongoing issues with parked vehicles, between The Wellington & The Co-op, the 177 will until further notice go via Croft Road between Clampitt Road and East Street.

 

The Parish Council contacted Country Bus Devon and expressed serious reservations about the Route Diversion which briefly are,

 

  1. Croft Road is not a viable Route Diversion due to the nature of the road itself and the very tight right turn into East Street at The Hub.
  2. Ipplepen has a higher than average number of elderly residents who use the Bus Service and who will now be unable to access the service having to walk down to The Hub
  3. The bus stop at The Hub is sited at a very narrow part of East Street with very little space for people to wait.
  4. Young people who catch the bus at the Wellington PH or Caunters close will now have to either go to the Hub bus stop or the Clampitt Road bus stop opposite Croft Road.
  5. We requested clarification of what the company meant by “Until further notice”.

 

Country Bus Devon were very clear in their response which was that “until further notice” is exactly what it says, there is no time frame and they are going to review the new route, however it would seem going down Croft Road isn’t making it any better. Country Bus did say that if it doesn’t improve they will be looking at stopping the bus service to Ipplepen altogether.

 

Country Bus said that there is a large vehicle (Range Rover type) that is parking outside the Wellington Inn which is making the turn out of Clampitt Road into Fore Street difficult which is a recent issue but the main issue is cars being parked on both sides down towards the Co-op from the Wellington Inn. They don’t think yellow lines would help but suggested that putting some barriers down the road to stop cars parkng either side. The bus needs a minimum of 2.5m to get through safely.

 

Country Bus Devon have been informed that this will be discussed at the Parish Council meeting on 6th September 2022.

 

DCC were informed of the Route Change decision taken by Country Bus and informed Alistair Dewhirst the Ipplepen County Councillor that they had informed the bus company that they must give 70 days notice of the change.

 

Subsequently Country Bus sent the Parish Council, Cllr Dewhirst and DCC the following message..

 

Subject: 177 Ipplepen

 

Message Body:

We have been forced to stop coming into Ipplepen as residents of Croft Road have now started parking to obstruct the bus, and we cannot safely use the section route betwen The Wellington and the Co-op. I hope some resolution is possible whereby the bus can be assured of getting through the village and we can resume normal service.

I am keeping Devon County Council informed of the situation and I hope we can resume service in the near future

 

The Parish Council and Cllr Dewhirst contacted Country Bus making it clear that this was unacceptable and sought to find a solution that would allow the service to be reinstated.

 

It was agreed that provided the Parish Council leaflet those parking between the Wellington Inn and Co-op informing them that they should leave a minimum of 2.5m access space for the bus and also monitor the route to ensure that the route is accessible they would re-instate the service as of 30th August.

 

The following leaflets were delivered,

 

Parish Council – Polite Request –

177 Bus Route

 Good morning

As you may be aware Country Bus Devon has withdrawn the 177 Bus Service from Ipplepen because of the lack of a safe 2.5m wide passage along the route between the Wellington Inn and the Co-op.

 

Having discussed the issue with Country Bus Devon they have agreed that providing a 2.5m wide passage is available they will re-instate the 177 Bus Service as of Tuesday 30th August.

 

It is therefore requested that when parking along this part of the route you give due consideration to ensuring that the access route is permanently available.

 

Regards

 

David Palethorpe

Chair – Ipplepen Parish Council

 

In addition on the 30th August Parish Councillors, Rattlidge, Smith along with Cllr Dewhirst monitored the route and confirmed that the access along the route in Fore Street was a minimum of 3.3m.

 

The bus service has now been reinstated, however it must be stressed that in the event of people parking in and inconsiderate manner that would prevent the bus service safely accessing the route the service would once again be discontinued.

 

A number of long term solution options to the problem cause by inconsiderate parking will now be considered by the Highways and Traffic Order Committee, however it should also be stressed that any solution may take up to 24 months to implement.