Passengers' plea for smashed shelter to be rebuilt
- 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.
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.
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."
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."
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."
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.”