Posted on Thursday 6th April 2017
The Council announced earlier this week that it would be starting remedial works at Horseshoe Common on April 10 as the surface blocks had deteriorated much earlier than expected.
The Council had highlighted that it believed there had been an increase in buses using the area and this had been a contributory factor in the decline in the road surface. This conclusion was drawn after reviewing online data available about bus services and surveying the road which showed that only the side which buses access had suffered the extent of damage.
The information about the numbers of buses was taken in good faith and was never intended to be seen as the Council blaming the buses for the deterioration. We are not in any position to dispute the figures which have since been issued by Yellow Buses, and the bus operator and the Council continue to enjoy a close working relationship.
Regardless of the number of buses, we can see that the road surface has deteriorated much quicker than expected and needs to be rectified. At the same time the Council is looking into why this has happened and despite what is reported in the media we do not yet know if it is a result of the materials, the workmanship or the specification.
Horseshoe Common is a successful shared space area and a flagship part of town attracting large numbers of visitors and it is only right we undertake these remedial works to maintain the investment in this area.
Despite safety concerns surrounding shared spaces, road casualties at Horseshoe Common have dramatically reduced since the original scheme was implemented. The average number of collisions causing casualties has fallen from 4.85 per annum before construction, to 1.5 per annum now.
As a result there is no review of the shared space planned.
The works will begin on Monday and last around 12 weeks. It will cost £121,000 as the blocks lifted will be used elsewhere in the town where traffic is lighter.
Joint response from Yellow Buses Commercial Director Paul Wren and Head of Traffic Management Gary Powell of Bournemouth Council, said:
“The Council and Yellow Buses work closely in partnership together and enjoy an excellent working relationship. This has not changed as a result of the confusion surrounding the number of bus vehicles travelling through Horseshoe Common each day. The Council is not in a position to dispute the figures provided by Yellow Buses, which confirm that there has been no increase in the number of buses travelling through Horseshoe Common.
“There is no suggestion that the Council blames bus companies for remedial works having to be done, but regardless of bus numbers, there has been an acceleration in the deterioration of the surface sooner than expected. Both organisations are now working together on how to minimise the impact of the works on scheduled bus services.”