An inconveniently placed bus shelter has enraged a group of Northampton residents who were given it as a planning sweetener outside their homes - even though they do not want it.
Plans for an Aldi supermarket and 54 homes on the site of the former W Grose Vauxhall showroom in Kingsthorpe were passed 12 months ago, despite fears it would create traffic chaos on an already busy stretch.
With works now begun on the Queen’s Park Parade site, a new junction with traffic signals is currently being installed to cater for the new store.
But residents on the road were not aware this meant a new bus shelter would also be built in front of numbers 57 to 61 on the street.
Ironically the bus station is being built through contributions from the developers, Mulberry, as part of a package of planning sweeteners intended to mitigate he impact of a new superstore.
Resident Diane Ostler said: “Why do I want to be looking at a bus shelter right outside my house?
“There would be noise, people waiting there, people drinking in there.
“We believe it will create a further hazard to what is already a busy area.
“Having a bus stop by a signalised junction means traffic will have to try and move around the buses. This is an accident black spot as it is. People use it like a racetrack.”
Mrs Ostler, a paramedic aged 43, said residents on the street were not consulted properly about the new bus stop by the highways department of Northamptonshire County Council.
They were first informed about it in March, although Mrs Ostler claims the plans were “buried” as part of a consultation on proposed changes to the off-street parking on Queen’s Park Parade.
Several residents lodged objections to the proposals at the time and a 33-name petition against it was handed in, but the pleas came to no avail.
To add further upset, it was only after the building work started in July that residents became aware it would actually be a hard-standing bus shelter, rather than a simple stop.
Mrs Ostler says the decision has left Queen’s Park Parade residents perplexed
She said: “If there is a necessity for the development to have a bus stop located so close for ease of access, why can this not be on the opposite side of the road, just outside the new store? Surely this would make more sense.”
Now she is hoping Northamptonshire County Council can move the location of the bus stop and has enlisted the support of local councillors and Northampton North MP Michael Ellis.
A spokesman for the county council said: “Highways works are being carried out as part of planning conditions associated with the development of a new supermarket in Queen’s Park Parade, Northampton.
“A new junction with traffic signals is being installed and, as such, for safety reasons it is necessary to move an existing bus stop 30 metres north as it is located where the junction is going to be.
“As this will be the main bus stop serving the supermarket for people travelling towards the town centre, a bus shelter is also being provided.”