National Express yet to find solution for Winchester stop

THE backlash against National Express’ suspension of bus travel to and from Winchester has continued with no resolution yet to be found.

Previously reported National Express has suspended all travel to and from Winchester because the area they were picked up in, The Broadway, was unsuitable for buses.

This is because the buses have to turn in a tight space at the King Alfred Statue stop, which is a busy area.

This has made many Winchester residents outraged that plans were canceled on very short notice with the next stop at the University of Southampton.

Now, differences of opinion have been shared by local politicians as to who is to blame for the situation.

Winchester City Councilor Martin Tod, Cabinet Member for Economic Recovery, said, “With the introduction of larger coaches, National Express will not be able to use Broadway because of the turning radius required for the new vehicles.

“The city council has offered National Express a number of alternatives, including park-and-ride parking, and has informed district officials of the whole situation.

“Winchester is a compact, medieval town and we are exploring a variety of possible solutions with Hampshire County Council and National Express.

“The city council remains determined to find a solution to enable bus services to and from Winchester to resume.”

In response, Steve Brine MP said, “This is deeply unfortunate and comes out of the blue to many who are going to experience great inconvenience.

“It obviously came as no surprise to the Winchester City Council, who clearly knew they were not making a compelling case for our city or involving others on this matter.”

Cllr Tod said, “I can understand Steve Brine would like to divert attention from the power cuts, fuel crisis and Brexit mayhem he voted for, but he should really stick to the facts.

“Winchester City Council has not extended the National Express cars – and that is the main problem: The cars are now too long to turn the width of the street.

“I have spoken personally to the Hampshire County Council Director of Transportation for help finding a place to resolve the problem – and the City Council will continue to be constructive with Hampshire, National Express and anyone else who may need it. work together until there is a solution. “.”

A National Express spokesman said: “We have yet to find a solution that meets our operational needs, but we are working closely with Winchester City Council to find a replacement stop. All options are checked taking into account factors such as location, accessibility and the resulting changes in the overall route and travel time. We aim to be able to resume service as soon as possible. ”

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