Road bus plan sparks protest

Councillor Lee Martin shows the proposed route for bus clearways in Cleveland Road,  Sunderland; which is causing concern among local residents.
Councillor Lee Martin shows the proposed route for bus clearways in Cleveland Road, Sunderland; which is causing concern among local residents.
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ANGRY residents have hit out against council plans to introduce bus clearways on a busy road.

The move, which would create a no-parking zone around bus stops in Barnes, has left neighbours fed up.

The proposed clearways will be around the six bus stops on the stretch of Cleveland Road between Ormonde Street and Ettrick Grove.

Residents of Cleveland Road will see their already busy street lose 18 car parking spaces if the proposal comes into effect.

The clearways would mean no other vehicles except buses would be allowed to park in the stretches, which would range from 13 metres to about 20 metres.

Cleveland Road resident Ralph Ellison, 68, would be directly affected by the plans as there is a bus stop right outside his house.

Ralph said: “My main worry is the parking – there’s big problems in the area already. If the clearway come in we will have to park around the corner and the car will be out of sight which puts its at risk to vandals, and there has been problems with them in the past.

“The bus stops for maybe half a minute each time and about 75 per cent of the time the buses don’t even stop. To inconvenience of so many people for that amount of time just seems wrong.

“We wouldn’t even be able to park outside overnight. I wouldn’t be able to bring in my groceries and my wife and I are pensioners. My wife has difficulty walking as well.”

Mr Ellison would rather the bus stop was moved to a less residential area.

He added: “They could move it further down the street. It’s not as residential going towards Chester Road.”

Another Cleveland Road resident is angry that one of the proposed clearways will be outside his home.

Brian Johnson, 32, an engineer, has two young children and moved into his home five years ago.

Brian said: “In bad weather where are we going to park to get the children inside?

“I would never have bought this house if I had known I might not be able to park there.

“If it takes even more spaces away it’s going to be a fight for the small area that is left and that will lead to animosity amongst the residents.”

Barnes councillor Lee Martin said the proposed clearways will cause parking issues for residents.

Coun Martin said: “I know it’s on a bus route but those streets are quite narrow anyway. Once you take away a few parking spaces you can’t get near the houses.

“It’s a residential area. I can understand putting the clearways on parts of Cleveland Road where it isn’t residential but not all the way along.”

Councillor James Blackburn, portfolio holder for attractive and inclusive city, added: “Consultations have been carried out regarding the proposed introduction of Bus Stop Clearway Orders on Cleveland Road.

“These consultations took place in April 2012 and of the 24 residents consulted, six objections to the proposals were received. These objections are currently being considered.”

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