Residents demand answers over ‘disappearing’ bus stop
The left-hand picture shows the bus stop on Sunday (May 21) and the right-hand picture on Monday (May 22) (Image: Kate Martin Wilson)
Residents were left confused after a bus stop that had been introduced to alleviate crowding seemed to ‘disappear’ overnight.
Network Rail has been trialling a new temporary bus stop on Botley Road after concerns were raised about the safety of the one already in place.
But yesterday (May 23) the temporary bus stop signs were erased.
Residents took to social media to express their frustration.
One wrote on Facebook: “Bonkers! Hopefully they’ll have told the bus drivers what’s going on this time!”
Another added: “What are they playing at? This is so silly!”
Botley Road is currently closed at the rail bridge, forcing bus services to begin and terminate their routes at Osney Island.
Passengers must walk under the rail bridge on foot to pick up another bus on either side of the closure.
This has led to large crowds of people waiting at the bus stop on Botley Road at peak times.
Some eyewitnesses have seen up to 70 people spilling over onto the grass outside St Frideswide’s Church.
Back in April, Oxford MP Layla Moran demanded an emergency summit with Network Rail after she visited the site.
She raised her ‘serious’ safety concerns with the company and described the westbound bus stop by the bridge as a ‘disaster’ and ‘completely inadequate’ for the number of people commuting in and out of Oxford.
Network Rail clarified today (May 23) that the signs were removed because the trial period had finished.
But the company confirmed that the test run had been successful and that the extra bus stop would be back in operation soon.
Oxford Mail: Layla Moran MP standing by the Botley Road bus stop during a visit in April
A Network Rail spokesperson said: “Alongside our partners at the local bus companies, Oxfordshire County Council and Kier, we have been exploring the possibility of installing an additional westbound bus stop on Osney Island while Botley Road is closed at the railway bridge.
“The test of the stop last week looked at whether it would be safe for all road users that travel through the area, especially cyclists.
“We have reached agreement that it is safe and feasible to install a new temporary bus stop, on the basis that a maximum of two buses can use it at any one time to avoid them becoming a hazard to cyclists and other traffic coming over Osney Bridge.
“The bus companies are finalising their plans for introduction of the temporary stop and once this has been implemented, passengers will be able to board and alight buses at this location.
“Signage was put up last week to prepare for the opening of the temporary stop, however these signs have been turned around to avoid any confusion until the stop is in operation.”