Yesterday, we reported criticism regarding the new Merrywalks bus facility. Today, we wonder how bad the new facility really is.
Shortcomings the new Merrywalks terminus certainly has, but could it be described as a ‘complete disaster’?
We’d say not. One of its bonuses over the old bus station is that it avoids buses reversing and although there were few incidents, there was always that potential.
Has it added to congestion? We’d say that any congestion is associated with the number of vehicles in general now using Merrywalks. And, there are fewer buses along there at any time in its history as a bus terminus (1968-1992; and again from 1997 as the old bus station or current facility ).
Buses are now able to join the traffic flow more easily, especially those heading towards Beeches Green, on the north side of Merrywalks. And, since buses when parked are well out of the way of through traffic, they hinder general movements very little. If buses *do* impede traffic then surely this is an advantage in calming road speeds.
And, since the town was vehemently against buses on its streets (during the period 1992-1997), it’s hard to think of where a terminus would be, if not on Merrywalks, other than at the railway station, of course. Even here, access is limited by narrower streets.
One weakness is passengers crossing the road inappropriately. Then again, there’s a footbridge and pedestrian controlled crossing.
The old Merrywalks dated from 1968 and it may have been innovative back then but it had a slightly down-at-heel look to it in the early years of the 21st century. It did its job well enough though, and certainly kept off the rain, even if it would be hard pressed to keep someone warm. The replacements aren’t any better. But are they much worse?