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Fears over Caister bus route

PUBLISHED: 14:11 22 November 2009 | UPDATED: 15:42 03 July 2010

THE mother of a teenage crash victim has warned another young life could be cut short in her Caister street after a bus company shelved plans to re-route buses through the village.

THE mother of a teenage crash victim has warned another young life could be cut short in her Caister street after a bus company shelved plans to re-route buses through the village.

Disappointed Hilary Caile feared a repeat of the horror smash that led to her son Matthew Eckett's death at the age of 17 yards from his home after First Eastern decided after consultation not to move buses away from Prince of Wales Road.

Engineering student Matthew died after his moped was in collision with a First bus as he waited to pull out of Prince of Wales Road on to Norwich Road in July last year. Four years previously, 12-year-old Luke Emery died following an accident with a bus in

Thames Way on the estate while he was out on his bike a

stone's throw from his home.

The boys' deaths prompted an outcry from Caister councillors and victims' families who said roads on the estate were too narrow for double deckers.

And in October, First Eastern launched a consultation among residents in the Prince of Wales Road to see if they wanted services 1 and 1A to bypass Prince of Wales Road and stop at Norwich Road instead.

This week First announced the plans had been dropped after 58pc of respondents said they wanted to keep the existing route.

Ms Caile said she was disappointed both with the bus company for not realising the road was too small and with the people consulted for putting their own inconvenience in having to walk a little further to Norwich Road to catch the bus over the safety of residents in Prince of Wales Road.

She added: “I am very disappointed with the bus company for not realising that the road is too small for buses and also that people are not prepared to walk to the bus stop in Norwich Road, because it is not too far for people to walk. We are just waiting for the next accident to happen.”

In October, a number of elderly residents on the estate told the Mercury they feared the loss of the Prince of Wales Road stop as their limited mobility would make it more difficult for them to get to the Norwich Road bus stop.

First spokesman Gussy Alamein said: “We undertook a consultation with residents around the Prince of Wales Road area, in conjunction with Caister Parish Council, to gather opinion on possible changes in the routes of services 1 and 1A.

“We also undertook a commitment to listen to residents' feedback and respond appropriately. The results of this consultation has concluded that 58pc of residents are in favour of retaining the current routes and so we shall abide by this consensus.”

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