As you will be aware, the electronic bus display boards, along with the electronic clock, which Lancashire County Council supplied and paid for, have been turned off at Burnley Bus Station (as well as at Nelson, Chorley, Lancaster and Skelmersdale). Since this has happened many Burnley residents have raised their concerns that vulnerable groups have been left struggling to find the information they need to get the correct buses. We believe that the removal of the electronically displayed signs was a retrograde step – they provided an extremely useful service for travellers, and the bus station is not the same without them.
The removal of the signs has caused a particular problem for people with limited sight, such as those who suffer from macular degeneration. They were invaluable for passengers, particularly the elderly and vulnerable, as they gave clear information about departure times and stands. It is true that there are other ways of getting this information – such as the printed timetables, or over the internet – but a great many people struggle with small print and only a minority of people are able to access the internet whilst on the move. The bus station staff are always helpful, but their work load has increased dramatically since the signs were turned off.
This ePetition ran from 26/07/2012 to 23/08/2012 and has now finished.
9 people signed this ePetition.
Council response to the e-petition organiser:
'You will be aware from previous correspondence the reasons behind the decision to switch off the displays at five Bus Stations/Interchanges including Burnley. There is a good case for saving money where alternative information is available and we have continued to provide poster information regarding bus services which includes information about which stands bus services depart from. In addition to this, we have improved the presentation of this information to make it clearer to read.
At Burnley Bus Station, for example, the following information about departure points is provided:
• Each departure bay has an elevated display which shows the services departing from that point.
• At each stand there is timetable information detailing departure times.
• Posters are displayed at the three entrances on the bus station giving details of the departure points for each service. It should be noted that this information mirrors that which was previously displayed on the electronic displays.
• The County Council has an Information Office at the bus station which is staffed between the hours of 09:00 and 17:00 on Mondays to Saturdays. Anyone who is not sure is able to check in the office.
Faced with the need to reduce the Council's annual budget by £205m by 2013/14 we have had to make some very difficult decisions. We have committed ourselves to protecting the most vulnerable of our fellow citizens and given that there are still alternatives to the displays as described above we cannot justify the additional expenditure of reinstating the signs'.