Published: October 27, 2011
Burnham councillors raise concerns about health centre access

Town councillors in Burnham-On-Sea have this week expressed their concerns about the lack of bus services serving the recently-opened Berrow health centre.

No buses stop outside the new £2.5m centre, meaning visitors having to walk some distance from the Berrow Triangle to reach it.

Councillors say the situation needs to improve and have called on Somerset County Council and bus firms to consider new bus stops for the centre.

Cllr Chris Williams, pictured, said this week: "Several elderly residents who are registered with Burnham Medical Centre have recently been asked to attend appointments at the new Berrow centre, however because they are not very mobile they have had to get expensive taxis to reach it due to the poor bus service."

"The buses from Burnham currently stop at the Berrow Triangle and do not go any closer to the centre, which means visitors have to walk some distance to get there."

"The County Council has taken this up to see whether the buses could drop off visitors in the new centre's car park, but the council has been told by the centre that it cannot afford to lose any parking spaces and that the car park surface may not be strong enough to support the weight of buses."

Cllr Williams told "The possibility of the buses going via Ash Tree Road has also been looked into, but the bus company is unwilling to add more time to its schedules for this small diversion."

"Something needs to be done to improve access. It is something that we are pushing for."

The matter was discussed in full at this week's meeting of Burnham and Highbridge town council's Town Improvements Committee.

Cllr Neville Jones said: "These are subsidised bus services that are there to help residents and patients, so they must be changed to suit."

And Cllr Paul Young added: "I don't see how a new medical centre like this could have been built without the bus service being fully considered."


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