Freezing residents call for bus shelter near their homes in Packmoor
DOZENS of residents are backing a campaign to install a new bus shelter near their homes.
Around 30 people have signed a petition calling for a shelter at a bus stop in Turnhurst Road at the bottom of Scragg Street in Packmoor.
Campaigner Pat Malby submitted the 30-strong petition to Stoke-on-Trent City Council on December 6.
She said: "We are badly in need of a bus shelter at the bottom of the street.
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"The buses don't come very regularly and 20 minutes is a long time to stand being battered by the wind and rain.
"It doesn't matter how warmly you wrap up, it's not a pleasant wait for the bus in winter."
After submitting her petition, Mrs Malby received an initial letter from the city council saying their was no space in the budget for a new bus shelter.
She said: "Apparently it costs around £14,000 to install a new bus shelter, which seems quite a lot to me."
But she then received a second letter saying the request had been added to a waiting list.
A second-hand overhead shelter has since been made available by the council if a public consultation shows residents require one.
The shelter had originally been allocated for use in a Packmoor play area but residents expressed concerns it would attract anti-social behaviour.
The 74-year-old says bus passengers would settle for any kind of additional protection from the wind and rain.
She said: "We don't need something state-of-the-art, just some cover.
"A public consultation will have to be carried out to see if anyone will object to having a new bus shelter put up.
"The problem is that when people have cars they don't realise how reliant people who rely on public transport are.
"I'm an older lady and most of the people who get the bus are pensioners."
People catching the number seven First Bus service to Chell have the option of a bus stop with a shelter further down Turnhurst Road.
But residents say the shelter, which backs onto open fields, is in the wrong place.
Irene Cope, of Scragg Street, who regularly catches the bus to Chell, said: "We need it farther up the road really, it's in the wrong place.
"It's not nice to stand in the rain for 20 minutes."
Jenny Kelsall, aged 32, from Packmoor, added: "As long as the shelter doesn't block the pavement or bother people getting their cars out of the drive, I can't see it being a problem.
"It's not nice waiting at the bus stop in the rain, especially if you're a young mum with a pram."
Councillor for Great Chell and Packmoor, Janine Bridges, pictured right, said the second-hand shelter would require a only a small amount of the ward budget.
She said: "We're talking about hundreds of pounds not thousands.
"There are a lot of pensioners on Scragg Street who can't get around and with the buses being as they are if the bus is late they could be waiting for half an hour in the wind and rain."
Ms Bridges said the proposed shelter does not have sides so should not attract anti-social behaviour.
She added: "It's easy to take it for granted, but when you rely on public transport, things like bus shelters can make all the difference to your journey."