Stormy meeting following bus withdrawal

August 29, 2008 12:00 AM

Councillor Peter Davison - Putting Castleton FIRST!Over 50 residents of Kirklees/Alder Road estate, together with their local ward councillors and Transport Boss Zulf Ali, crowded into a meeting at Castleton Community Centre to hear Rossendale Transport management explain why the 442 bus service had been withdrawn from their estate.

Brendan Reilly of Rossendale told the meeting that: "problems with parking" around the junction of Newchurch Street and Hillcrest Road had resulted in a number of accidents involving the bus recently. He explained: "it is therefore no longer possible to operate on this section of the route." He added: "as a company we want to go around the estate. It is not our policy to withdraw vital services. We'll go back if the highways issues are fully addressed by the council."

In response, council highways officers said: "We only became aware of the problems a month ago. If traffic restrictions are required we can investigate these, but they would take up to nine months to be put in place."

A sometimes stormy meeting heard residents explain why they needed this vital service. One Alder Road resident suggested: "if the problem is the Newchurch Street junction, why not use Melville or Colne Street instead - thus bypassing the problem?" Mr Reilly agreed to assess: "what seems a sensible suggestion."

A representative of GMPTE said that an extension of the Deeplish Local Link would begin in September and cover the estate, he hoped residents would: "take the opportunity to book a bus as a short term solution."

Following the meeting Castleton ward councillor, Peter Davison, said: "It was a positive, if sometime heated meeting.

"Rossendale have agreed to look again at the route and the council will investigate the parking problems. With this in mind I remain hopeful that a positive result can be achieved to everyone's satisfaction."