Bus route called off as road is blocked

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POLICE continue to deny parked cars are an obstruction despite a bus route being abandoned after five buses got stuck.

Stagecoach called off the number 17 service in Windermere Road, Kettering, yesterday after five buses, including a double decker, got stuck and had to reverse out.

Police went out twice after calls from Stagecoach and residents but said the road was clear.

Speaking after he backed out his third bus of the day, Jonathan Furr, depot manager for Stagecoach in Kettering, said: “It’s a real pain. I’ve got plenty more things to be doing.

“It’s a lack of consideration from hospital users. It’s happening most days.”

Two cars were parked on one side of the road while a third was parked on the opposite side between them, causing a chicane. It was possible for a car to weave between them but a bus was too big to squeeze through.

Tracey Churchill, 45, of Coniston Road, said: “If that isn’t illegal and dangerous parking I don’t know what is.”

When Jacqueline Wheatley, 54, of Windermere Road, asked a driver not to park outside her house because a bus was trying to reverse round the corner he told her he had an appointment at Kettering General Hospital to get to.

She said: “When my husband and I came and had a look at the road when we were buying our house 10 years ago there were no cars parked here.

“If we had known it was going to be like this we would have turned around and walked away.”

Despite facing having to buy £45-a-year permits to park on the street, most residents were delighted when Kettering Council announced it was introducing residents’ parking zones in Windermere Road, Coniston Road and Ullswater Road in November.

Shirley Plenderleith, head of environmental health for Kettering Council, said the county council is designing the scheme. Once designed it will go out for a 21-day consultation with councillors and police, followed by a 21-day public consultation.

She said: “At this point in time I would be unable to give a specific time frame. However, I would reassure residents that we are working with colleagues at the county council to ensure that the project keeps moving forward.”

A police spokesman said: “Officers went out twice and on neither occasion was there any obstruction.”