Bus routes changed in Portishead due to ‘badly-parked cars’

PUBLISHED: 07:00 02 January 2019

Newfoundland Way, Portishead.    

Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Newfoundland Way, Portishead. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

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First Bus has blamed changes to a commuter route which travels through Portishead’s marina on ‘badly-parked cars’, despite double yellow lines designed to reduce traffic problems being painted just a fortnight ago.

The operator’s X3A service, which connects commuters with Bristol, will no longer travel through Phoenix Way and Newfoundland Way after Sunday due to the double-deckers being unable to navigate through a labyrinth of poorly-parked vehicles.

The route instead will travel along Harbour Road, leaving some passengers with a lengthy walk.

Portishead East councillor David Pasley is unhappy with First’s decision, which comes just two weeks after North Somerset Council launched a trial of parking regulations – including double yellow lines – to alleviate the marina’s much-maligned traffic woes.

He said: “For a number of years, the double-decker buses have been unable to maintain a reliable service to people in East ward.

“The crux of the problem has been the design of the narrow roads and garages are considered to be too narrow which meant many residents find it more convenient to park on the road

“It was therefore just a question of time before large vehicles such as fire engines, waste vehicles, delivery lorries and buses would find it difficult, and sometimes impossible to navigate the marina.

“Highways officers at the council recommended to us a trial of six months where double yellow lines would be painted at pinch points such as bends so inconsiderate car owners would refrain from parking, thus freeing up the previously blocked roads.

“The trial started just two weeks ago so I am bemused and annoyed First Bus should decide to cancel its service without even giving the new lines a chance to prove whether they work.”

James Freeman, First West of England’s managing director, said it had no choice but to avoid the heart of the marina due to ‘badly-parked cars’.

He said: “We regret having to make this change as of course it has a negative impact on the service we can provide to our customers around the marina.

“However, the current route around the marina is no longer tenable at certain times of day, and unfortunately we have no choice but to make this change so that the service can operate safely and reliably.”

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