A new, affordable bus service operating from parts of Blacon to Chester’s Greyhound Retail Park starts next month.
The service, operated by Stagecoach, is being supported by Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWaC) for 12 months initially, and starts on Monday, September 4.
With pick ups at Blacon Avenue, Western Avenue, Blacon Point Road, Saughall Road, Bumpers Lane, Hartford Way and the Asda store, the service operates Monday to Saturdays between 7am and 6pm with a return fare costing £2 for adults and £1 for children.
CWaC say the new route, which excludes Bank Holidays, is the result of consultation in Blacon to measure the interest of residents, but not all of them are happy with the fact that it only serves a small area.
"It's a joke"
Mark Smith of Nevin Road told The Chronicle he has been lobbying for years to try and get a bus route to the Greyhound Park, but is unhappy with the service they have come up with, branding it ‘a joke.’
“For many years I kept emailing the bus companies about getting a bus to the Greyhound Park and was told the route isn’t commercially viable,” he said. “I emailed so often that I finally ended up contacting Chris Matheson about it and it wasn’t long after that the council consultation was put out.
“To me it seems as if the council do not want anyone to use it. The vehicle being used is going to be a Mellor Strata leased by the council operated by Stagecoach and these vehicles only carry around 20 people.
Mr Smith added: “I must admit I’m far from happy with the service being provided. The route only serves a small area of Blacon. It misses out the passengers in Auckland Road and Melbourne Road so they will have at least a 10 minute walk to the service, as do those on Shelley Road and Saxon Road.
“The majority of Wordsworth Crescent have at least an 8 minute walk to the service. In my opinion the route has only been done to shut me up if you like, to stop my emails and if it doesn’t work, they can say they tried it.
“I have already emailed Stagecoach with my complaints. We shouldn’t have to wait so long to get to somewhere as big as the Greyhound Park. It’s a joke.”
Cllr Brian Clarke, Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Infrastructure said: “The housing estates in Blacon are relatively close to the Retail Park, access routes on foot are however challenging and generally too far for many people, particularly the elderly.
“There is currently no public transport provision direct from Blacon to Greyhound Retail Park and Bumpers Lane Industrial Estate.
“Funding for the new route is from section 106 agreement linked to the ASDA Store development at the Greyhound Retail Park. Part of this funding is for the development of public transport services to help reduce the effects of the additional traffic in the area,” he added.