Passengers' plea for smashed shelter to be rebuilt

People have contacted the Evening News about the lack of a bus shelter in Pound Lane

People have contacted the Evening News about the lack of a bus shelter in Pound Lane - Credit: Archant

Frustrated folk catching a chill as they wait for a bus are asking for an invaluable city shelter to be rebuilt after it was knocked down. 

The structure, in front of the Dussindale Community Centre and Sainsbury's supermarket in Pound Lane was badly damaged on January 2 after a First Eastern Counties vehicle crashed into it.

No one was seriously injured.

The First Eastern Counties bus that crashed into the bus shelter in front of the Pound Lane Sainsbury's supermarket

The First Eastern Counties bus that crashed into the bus shelter in front of the Pound Lane Sainsbury's supermarket in Thorpe St Andrew on January 2, 2021 - Credit: Kiera Davies

Now passengers and Thorpe St Andrew town councillors have appealed to the Evening News for help after seeing the We'll Sort It campaign - which aims to fix reader's problem from across the city. 

They are asking for the shelter to be rebuilt to provide some protection from the elements for the elderly and children in prams. 

Mayor of Thorpe St Andrew, Sue Lawn, believes First should pay for the structure which was originally put in by Sainsbury's.

Newly appointed Thorpe St Andrew Town Council mayor Sue Lawn and deputy mayor Jane Fisher 

Thorpe St Andrew mayor Sue Lawn and deputy mayor Jane FIsher - Credit: Submitted

Ms Lawn said: "It is extremely frustrating. It is unacceptable that residents are standing outside as winter approaches.

"First Buses are responsible for knocking it down so should be First to pay for it. Sainsbury's should be pushing for it as a community interest.

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"Lots of elderly people use it and Sainsbury's should be more concerned that their customers are standing in the cold and wet weather for a bus."

John Fisher, Norfolk County Council cabinet member for children's services. Pic: Norfolk County Coun

John Fisher, who is a town, district and county councillor - Credit: Norfolk County Council

The land is no longer owned by Sainsbury's and has been passed to the Dussindale Trust which operates the community centre next to the supermarket.

John Fisher, a fellow town councillor echoed her, saying: "It is down to who is going to stump up the money first."

Jill Wigy, from Thorpe St Andrew, who wants the bus shelter in Pound Lane to be repaired

Jill Wigy, from Thorpe St Andrew, who wants the bus shelter in Pound Lane to be repaired - Credit: Sophie Wyllie

Retired teacher Jill Wigy, 77, from St Williams Way, uses the bus to Sainsbury's and its nearby community shops twice a week and described the shelter as "invaluable".

Mrs Wigy said: "It is miserable in the cold weather when you are never sure when the buses are coming. It is a popular stop."

The barriers put around the remains of the old bus shelter on Pound Lane, Thorpe St Andrew

The barriers put around the remains of the old bus shelter on Pound Lane, Thorpe St Andrew - Credit: Jill Wigy

Chris Speed, head of operations at First Eastern Counties said: "The bus shelter was damaged earlier in the year and is awaiting repair.

"It is important for intending customers who are waiting for the bus to have a safe and in working order shelter that protects them from inclement weather as the winter approaches.

"We will investigate with Sainsbury's on progress to ascertain when the damaged shelter can be repaired.”  

A Sainsbury’s spokeswoman said: “We understand the impact the missing shelter is having on our customers and the local community and we are working with First to repair it.”

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