Petition launches over axing of Newport Beach bus stop

Bob Mitchell who has set up a petition over the axing of the Newport Road bus stop. Picture: James B

Bob Mitchell who has set up a petition over the axing of the Newport Road bus stop. Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016

A community is continuing their fight over the axing of what they say is a vital bus stop, after starting a petition.

First Bus pulled the Newport Beach stop off the summer only No 3 route, because of a need for a dedicated member of staff to supervise buses reversing.

The move has prompted an outcry from many who live, work and holiday down the road.

They say that tourists who now have to haul luggage by foot to the end of the road, will be put off returning, while the large number of elderly people at the camps will also struggle.

A petition started by businesses on the road has so far collected around 400 signatures.

One local business affected by the closure is the Crystal Palace amusements, owned by Terry De’Ath.

Mr De’Ath said the No 3 summer service had similarly been pulled back in 2011, before returning the following year.

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He said: “I have been running this place for 25 years, and on Monday I can’t remember having so few people come into the amusements during the summer ever - there were only eight people the whole day.

“It is a killer for Newport. Once someone comes here by bus and has to lug their bags all the way down Newport Road, who is going to want to come back.

“It might get busier during the six week summer holidays, but then I can’t survive just on six weeks.”

Bob Mitchell, who own a chalet along the road, has helped collect some signatures.

He said: “The walking distance to the beginning of Newport Road where there is a stop is easy enough if you are young and fit. But for people who elderly, disabled and with heavy shopping, the 0.7 miles is quite a considerable distance.

“Bus companies have reversed at that point for many years and the people working at the Seafield and Seabreeze caravan park where they reverse have never had any problems. So I can’t see what the issue is.”

Last week a First Bus spokesman said the decision was to ensure the safety of both pedestrians and passengers.

They said that with very few passengers travelling from Newport it meant the additional expense could not be justified.

First continue to provide four buses per hour to Great Yarmouth during the summer period from the end of Newport Road.

The petition has been put up at several businesses on the Newport Road including the Sunningdale Club, Crystal Palace amusements and the Seafield and Seebreeze caravan park among more.