In this modern day and age when central and regional government are keen to encourage the use of public transport, we are struggling to understand the logic behind the decision to relocate the bus stops on the A169/A64 junction.
95% of travellers getting off or on the Coastliner service at the two stands in question do so because they are either going to, or coming away from our museum. A significant percentage of those are either elderly, disabled or families with young children who cannot afford to run a car or who are not physically able to drive.
Moving the two bus stands has increased the walk to the entrance of Eden Camp from 10 minutes to 20, an increase which will prove impossible for many. It will also mean that we can no longer honestly promote and advertise that our site can be reached using public transport.
More importantly, given the number of tragic deaths that have occurred in our region where bus passengers have been knocked down and killed whilst trying to cross roads, the fact that passengers alighting from a bus heading south towards Malton from Pickering now have to cross three busy roads, as opposed to the one crossing that had to be made from the original bus stand location, whilst on the north bound stand, passengers now have to cross one road, whereas before they didn’t have to cross any, must surely have had to have been considered before the decision was made to re-site the two stands.
There was no consultation with either ourselves or Transdev, the operators of the Coastliner service about the re-siting of the bus stands. When we discovered that the stops were scheduled for relocation, we wrote to both North Yorkshire Highways and Ryedale District Council expressing our concerns.
Whilst we are still waiting for a reply from the district council (10 months on) North Yorkshire Highways did respond (it took them eight weeks). However, in their correspondence they offered no explanation or reason for moving the stands, but did state that footpaths would be established between the bus stands and our entrance.
Footpaths were subsequently installed, but not to our site. They terminate 60m away from our entrance.
After airing our concerns with the developers and contractors involved in the new Eden Business Park, they kindly created a footpath to our entrance as a gesture of good will and neighbourliness.
We have now been informed that North Yorkshire Highways have instructed the developers to remove the footpaths, which will force pedestrians to walk on the road, in and amongst visitors arriving by car, coach and motorcycle.
Surely the main consideration when developing or re-developing any plan relating to transport, traffic and pedestrians must be to ensure that the possibility of pedestrians and vehicles coming together is minimised as much as possible.
With large articulated vehicles delivering machinery to our next-door neighbours and once the business park and cattle market are established, we envisage serious road safety issues if the situation is not addressed now.