Anger as bus diversion during repairs leaves residents stranded in Redisham
- Credit: Picture: Nick Butcher
A woman who relies on her local bus service has spoken of her anger after a five-week road closure has left her stranded at her home.
Susan Harrison, who lives in Redisham, usually catches the 60H Anglian Bus service into Beccles from Redisham Road three times a week to do her shopping, pay her bills and meet family and friends.
However Suffolk County Council started work to repair a culvert, a structure that allows water to flow under a road, in Redisham Road this week. It is the main road running through the village and means the bus needs to be diverted.
Mrs Harrison, 69, who does not drive, said: 'The nearest stops I can use to get the bus now are a one and half or two and a half mile walk away.
'I'm stuck here and without the bus I can't go anywhere.
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'I could ask my neighbours for a lift if they are going that way but it's my independence.
'And there are other people in the street who are not that mobile and are stuck too.
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'If it's got to be done it's got to be done, but there are ways and means.'
Suffolk County Council said the culvert is in a poor condition with significant cracks, and that reconstruction was the most appropriate long-term solution.
A spokesman from the council said a signed alternative diversion route would be in place for the duration of the works and that emergency services, passenger transport, the parish council, county councillor, MP and adjacent residents had been informed of the works and advance notice signs had been put up on site.
Steve Royal, operations manager at Anglian Bus, said: 'Unfortunately the diversion is as close as we can safely serve the village while the works take place.
'We work closely with the council and if they are digging up the road they have to close it, so we have to just go with them.
'Temporary bus stops have been put in as close as they can be, but we understand that is not going to be suitable for everyone.
'There are very few alternative routes around it because the side roads are not big enough for a bus to go through and if they are big enough there are often low hanging trees and the bus can't fit underneath.'
The route usually goes from Halesworth to Spexhall, Westhall, Brampton, Redisham, Ringsfield Corner and onto Beccles, before returning back the same way.
The diversion takes the bus from Ringsfield Corner down Cromwell Road, diverting around Redisham through Weston and Shadingfield, onto Brampton down Station Road and back onto the normal route at Westhall.
Mrs Harrison has now contacted Bact, the community transport scheme in Waveney, to organise a trip into town.