Bus firm cancels stop in Winthorpe over road safety fears

Chris Robinson in Church Lane, Winthorpe, where the Brylaine 39 service used to stop. ANL-160205-104404001 ANL-160205-104404001
Chris Robinson in Church Lane, Winthorpe, where the Brylaine 39 service used to stop. ANL-160205-104404001 ANL-160205-104404001
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Fears elderly and disabled residents in Winthorpe may become isolated have followed a bus company’s decision to axe the use of one of the local bus stops ... on safety due to the poor state of the road.

One regular user of the Brylaine 39 bus said she was appalled to read in The Standard about Lincolnshire County Council’s £5.7 million plan to ‘improve roads, footpaths and cycle paths’ in Skegness and Ingoldmells, but not in Church Lane, Winthorpe, where the condition of the road was given as a reason the bus service no longer uses the stop near her home in Martin Way.

People used to meet others they recognised on the bus service and it was a means of socialising, These alterations will mean isolation for many people.

Chris Robinson, resident

Chris Robinson is making a plea to the county council to ‘remember those local people that cannot even get to the seafront, let alone doctors and shops, but who do pay their council tax for services in the area’.

She said: “The 39 bus route provided an essential service for people in the Skipworth Lane/Church Lane area of Winthorpe.

“Now alterations mean that a severely reduced service with a very much longer walk to the nearest bus stop. There are no buses at all at the top end of Church Lane.

“This area is home to a lot of elderly people, many of whom suffer with mobility problems.

“Loneliness is a major problem for elderly people. People used to meet others they recognised on the bus service and it was a means of socialising, These alterations will mean isolation for many people.

“The action has been exacerbated by car park charges during the summer season. Using the bus was the only option for many people to shop in Skegness.”

Retired Mrs Robinson said a petition was being circulated around the village.

Another petition is believed to be circulating in the Beacon Way area, which was also part of the Brylaine 39 service.

A spokesman for Brylaine said: “We have revamped the Skegness town service in the hope that we can improve ridership in order to save the service.

“We are well aware that we provide a service for the local population and not for holiday makers, which is why we now operate hourly in opposing directions linking all the supermarkets and the medical facilities as well as the seafront and other shopping areas in Skegness.

“We are sorry that the decision to withdraw from Church Lane has inconvenienced passengers in that area, but I assure you it was made purely on safety grounds given the deterioration of the road surface.”

Anita Ruffle, Lincolnshire County Council’s group manager for passenger transport, said: “Church Lane in Winthorpe is relatively narrow and does have settlement which makes the road uneven in places.

“However, since patching works were carried out at the end of 2015, we haven’t received any complaints regarding the condition of the road. There are currently no plans to upgrade the carriageway, but checks are performed periodically and any safety defects would be addressed appropriately.

“Brylaine Travel have recently taken the commercial decision to re-route their town service to avoid this narrow road and to improve overall service reliability. Any residents who find they can no longer access the town service should be able to book journeys on the CallConnect Service, which operates six-days-a-week within the Skegness area.

To book a journey please call 0345 2343344.”