Letter: Part of Smith Street closed even to buses

Date published: 03 January 2017

Dear Editor,

All local councils do some silly things. At a time when saving expenditure should be paramount, silly schemes are still thought up and implemented. Rochdale Council is no exception.

There’s a new bus station and to serve it a part of Smith Street from Molesworth Street was made buses only, one way only. Buses from the north and east of the town have a convenient and direct route to the new bus station.

All that’s coming to an end. In a secretive plan, next month will see that part of Smith Street closed even to buses. Buses currently using it will have to travel up Molesworth Street and turn right into Water Street to access the bus station.

That’s a difficult turn at the best of times owing to the volume of traffic coming down Molesworth Street. At peak times the tailback waiting to turn right can extend almost to Entwisle Road. Is it really a good idea to divert some fifteen buses an hour into a junction already badly overloaded?

What will it cost?

The Council will have some cost in erecting signs and so on.

The bus operators will be put to appreciable unnecessary expense. They will have to register an alteration to their routes; the journey times will be increased; air pollution considerably worsened; more fuel consumed.

It’s no exaggeration to say that the X58 via Ripponden may be withdrawn altogether as a consequence as it is such a marginal route financially.

Worst of all the bus passengers will be frustrated by longer journey times and waiting interminably in traffic jams.

No doubt some will vote with their feet and start using their cars more.

It won’t be long until someone decides that traffic lights are needed at the Molesworth Street Water Street junction. Yet more completely unnecessary expense.

Why is it being done? Surely it can’t be safety concerns. There have been no accidents at all on the current route.


Richard S Greenwood

The views expressed are those of the author of the letter and not those of Rochdale Online.

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