Thursday, 09 December 2021

Digital sign for bus shelter

A DIGITAL bus shelter sign is to be installed in Woodcote.

This will tell passengers what buses are on their way and the time they are due.

The bus stop in Goring Road, near the village green, will be the first in the village to have one of the new signs.

It was recently renovated to make it more open and prevent it being used for antisocial behaviour.

It was formerly a brick structure with no windows and the parish council said it had become a haven for young hooligans.

Oxfordshire County Council, which is replacing the structure with a glass shelter, has offered to pay half the cost of a digital bus sign as part of the renovation work.

The cost will be £5,800 and Woodcote Parish Council has agreed to contribute the other half. The county council will pay the ongoing maintenance costs.

Six other bus stops in the village may eventually also be fitted with a digital sign.

The parish council approved the sign’s installation despite some members questioning its value.

Councillor David Booth said the cost was a “luxury” and most villagers would not benefit.

He added: “If I want to know whether the bus is on time I can look on my smart phone and it will tell me whether the bus is 10 minutes late.

“I would have thought spending the money on a bus shelter up Whitehouse Lane, or by the Co-op on Bridle Path, where there are no shelters, would benefit more people.

“For those standing in Whitehouse Lane in the pouring rain without a bus shelter, the fact that they can walk down and find out whether the bus is going to be 10 minutes late or not isn’t going to be of much comfort.”

But Councillor Stuart Lawson said: “The people catching the bus there are quite possibly of the older generation who may well not have smart phones.”

Councillor Richard Fletcher said: “It adds up to a lot of money if we’re going to put them on all seven bus stops.”

Councillor Helen Booker said it was not being proposed to have the signs on all seven bus stops, although this might be a long-term ambition.

“Let’s start somewhere,” she said. “You wouldn’t not plant one tree because you couldn’t plant seven.

“It’s a rare opportunity to take advantage of the county council offering to pay towards something.”

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