Bus Shelters

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Scarisbrick’s timber bus-shelters have been a familiar and distinctive aspect of the local street scene for many years. Many of you will have noticed that the storms earlier in the year damaged a number of the shelters. The Diglake shelter was blown over and the shelter opposite Bullens Lane was literally torn apart by the winds. Insurance claims have been processed and both are to be replaced in the near future.

Other shelters incurred minor damage but it is also clear that age is beginning to take its toll. I am told that some of the shelters are over forty years old and annual maintenance costs are becoming quite high. It is for these reasons that the Parish Council has recently committed to a rolling programme of replacement.

The Council has recently inspected the shelters and now has an idea of the scale of the problem and where priorities lie. The Parish has nineteen bus-shelters. It is clear that costs can be contained if some shelters are simply taken down and not replaced as they become unserviceable. Please contact the Council if you are a user and have strong views on which bus stops should keep their shelters.

Timber bus-shelters have been a distinctive feature of the Parish for many years and there is a school of thought that these are aesthetically more in keeping with our rural setting. An alternative view favours the modern metal frame and perspex shelters. These are more utilitarian in appearance but are cheaper to purchase and maintain; they are therefore more in keeping with every local authority’s responsibility to obtain value for money. The Council will be looking at the alternatives over the next few months and we will hopefully be seeing some new shelters within the Parish in the near future.

6 thoughts on “Bus Shelters

  1. Mike Whiting

    Why were the shelters removed when there were no plans to replace them quicker ?? Its sad to see Schoolchildren and our elderly residents standing in the wind and rain on these cold winter days.

    1. John Herbert

      As the former Parish Clerk I have some knowledge regarding the situation with the bus shelters.
      Scarisbrick has 19 timber bus shelters of varying age, some are more than 40 years old. Maintenance requirements are steadily increasing, with roofs in particular requiring regular attention. High winds earlier in 2014 brought another major issue to light which was rot in the timber bases of a number of shelters which is more difficult to repair. This was a major factor in the shelters at Diglake and Master McGraths being blown over and the New Hall Drive shelter shifting on its concrete base.
      The Parish Council then decided to commit to a rolling programme of replacement as well as repair. The damaged shelters at Diglake and Master McGraths have now been replaced as part of an insurance claim and attention then turned to those in the worst state of repair, considered to be at Carr Cross and New Hall Drive.
      A local authority is obligated to achieve value for money which has meant that the Council has had to enter into a tendering process for the shelters. Unfortunately this takes time but the good news is that tenders are being returned and the decision regarding supplier is scheduled to be made at the next meeting, so things should then progress fairly quickly. In the meantime the Council was concerned that further high winds posed a significant risk to the shelters at Carr Cross, New Hall Drive and St Mark’s School. It was decided that these shelters should be taken down forthwith for safety reasons, even though this would mean an inevitable delay between demolition and replacement.
      I hope that this goes some way to explaining the situation and hopefully the shelters in question will soon be replaced with modern equivalents that are safer, more durable, and less costly to maintain.

      John Herbert

      1. Annwilliams

        Were has the bus stop gone at new hall drive the side leading into Southport no sign to say why its gone or when it will be back Poor response to the public

        1. The Editor

          Hello Ann, the bus shelter in question is believed to have been destroyed by a turning lorry. There is currently a claim in place with the insurance company and a replacement shelter will be there as soon as possible.

  2. Ken Waters

    I have 2 points to make on the subjects of bus shelters
    Firstly whilst I appreciate that wood construction shelters may be more in keeping with the rural setting of Scarisbrick they are wholly impractical and expensive to maintain. One cannot see the oncoming bus without standing outside the shelter which defeats the purpose in inclement weather. The Bullen’s lane one on the Ormskirk bound side is a prime example.
    Secondly why is it propose to remove the shelter at the lower end of Bescar Brow This shelter is very regularly used.

    1. John Herbert Post author

      Your points with regard to the limitations of wood construction bus shelters are well made and I agree entirely.
      The Parish Council has embarked on a programme of replacing our ageing stock of timber bus shelters. A significant problem has been the presence of rot where the bases are in contact with the ground, leading to a degree of instability in some of the shelters. This was particularly apparent a couple of years ago when two shelters were blown off their moorings in high winds (one was blown over).
      We are gradually replacing our stock with modern aluminium framed shelters. These require less maintenance, are more resistant to vandalism, and are more practical in terms of seeing oncoming buses (and the bus driver being able to see waiting passengers).
      Budget constraints mean that we are able to replace one (possibly two) shelters per year without unacceptable increases in the precept. This is being done in order of priority based upon information from regular asset inspection. The shelter at the lower end of Bescar Brow (almost opposite Woodlands Avenue) has been identified as the next priority. The base on the left hand side had significant rot leading to failure of the mooring bolts. It was felt that this could constitute a safety issue should it progress. Quotations were obtained and an order has been placed. In the meantime the old shelter has been removed by a separate contractor. However, it is apparent that there has been a delay in the new shelter being erected and this is in the process of being followed up with the contractors. This should result in the new shelter being installed quite soon.
      Bus shelters that have been replaced as the result of insurance claims are a separate issue. The Council’s insurance policy is on the basis of “like for like” replacement. You may recall that the shelters opposite Bullens Lane and at Diglake were significantly damaged in high winds two or three years ago. Replacements were by means of an insurance claim which has meant that they are of timber construction (with the limitations you have pointed out). It may well be that they are replaced with aluminium construction shelters in the future, but they have clearly dropped down the list of priorities.
      I hope that I have been able to answer your queries. Thank you very much for getting in touch.

      John Herbert
      Scarisbrick Parish Councillor


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