At the beginning of the month and following yet another collision with a parked vehicle County Bus Devon posted the attached notice on the bus stops in Clampitt Road (opposite Crokers Way), Wellington Inn and Caunters Close.
The Parish Council immediately contacted County Bus Devon and expressed our serious concerns and reservations about the Route Diversion which briefly are,
- 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.
- 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
- The bus stop at The Hub is sited at a very narrow part of the road with very little space for people to wait.
- Young people who catch the bus at the Wellington Inn and Caunters Close will now have to either go to The Hub bus stop or the Clampitt Road bus stop opposite Croft Road.
- We requested clarification of what the company meant by “Until further notice”.
County 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. County Bus did say that if it doesn’t improve they will be looking at stopping the bus service to Ipplepen altogether.
County 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 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 2.5m minimum to get through safely.
County Bus Devon have been informed that this will be discussed at the Parish Council meeting on 6th September 2022.
The issue is one that lies within the direct responsibility of the Devon County Council and Highways who having been contacted by our District and County Councillor who have informed County Bus Devon that they must give 70 days notice for this change.
Alistair is also I trying to arrange an inter-team meeting between the local highways team, the transport commissioners and the highways and traffic orders team.
The Parish Council has again been in contact with County Bus Devon and have today (26 August) received the following notification from them,
Subject: 177 Ipplepen
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
It is extremely disappointing that County Bus Devon have unilaterally taken this decision and the Parish Council, whilst having no legal powers regarding parking and the use of the highways will continue to support our County Councillor in finding a solution to the issue which would allow the service to be resumed.