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
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.
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."
Williams told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "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."