Sandown rides again!

Due to the efforts of two Sandown Councillors, and years of perseverance, common sense has finally prevailed and a bus stop at Culver Parade that was previously inaccessible to many, due to being sited the wrong side of the sea wall, has now been relocated.

In order to use the bus stop at its former position, users had to walk on the roadside of the sea wall and wait in the road, or climb over the sea wall. Councillor for Sandown North, Debbie Andre, was first alerted to this anomaly by Cllr Heather Humby who was concerned that a local resident was unable to use the buses to travel with her husband, who was wheelchair bound, due to her nearest bus stop being unsafe for her to access. No other bus stop was near enough for the elderly resident to get to.

Cllr Andre had this to say: “I first approached Cllr Ward in his capacity as Cabinet Member for Transport and
Infrastructure. He told me that the bus stop was very little used and that he doubted that anything could be done as the priority given to such a project would be low. He also said that the needs of one resident could not be allowed to outweigh the general demand. I questioned this approach as I had been working with Isle Access to identify ways of increasing the accessibility of Sandown as a whole and felt that, the needs of this particular resident highlighted a greater issue of accessibility. Also, being in an area of both residential and tourist development, if the accessibility of this particular location was improved, the bus stop would be well used by both residents and tourists alike.”

She continued: “Undeterred, I contacted Southern Vectis, Island Roads and the IOW Council’s Highways Department to arrange a site visit. I had already worked out a solution to the relocation of the bus stop that resulted in a net gain of two parking bays, which satisfied the highways officer. By removing the taxi rank that had been maintained, despite no longer being required with the closure of Colonel Bogey’s nightclub several years previously, and relocating the bus stop some 30 metres to the west where there was no sea wall, it was possible to create a fully useable bus stop that could be easily accessed by all.”

“I would like to thank Southern Vectis, Island Roads and the IOW Council’s highways department for making this possible. Full accessibility of transport links is vital in the rebuilding of the island’s economy post-Covid19.”