Friday, October 21, 2011

Nairn Bus Station of Yesteryear

An interesting photograph has appeared on Flickr recently - could anyone put a date on it perhaps?Another picture here that looks slightly more modern and you can clearly see some passengers on the bus.

Back to the modern day issues again for a moment. Recently we published an article which showed a segment of the last NICE masterplan drawn up this spring as an alternative to Highland Council plans for the town centre. The NICE plan had removed buses out of the bus station and created two bus stops further down the A96. We had suggested that perhaps this could be an option to aid future development of the site. This is not an idea that appeals to River Community Council's Stephanie Whittaker though - she told the Gurn:

" If members of NICE use buses they should be aware that a bus stop has been removed from the A96 between the Bus Park and Peter Green's to avoid holding up traffic that is stopped by the lights. This has caused problems for elderly people who regularly got off the bus there to go into Fishertown and they now have a longer walk .

It makes no sense to impede traffic further by stopping buses elsewhere on this route. In addition, often several buses come into the Bus station at once which would create difficulties on the A96. Moreover the bus station has a shelter which is important for passengers. If the bus park were removed it would be at the expense of bus users and we should be encouraging this use and using our cars less."


Iain said...

I find it frustrating that many of the comments by members of River CC oppose change - and they are often based on a failure to understand the issues. Does anyone really think that NICE would suggest decreasing the ease of access to buses or propose solutions that impede the flow of traffic? It simply isn't good enough to sit on the edge of issues and criticise, especially when you don't have all the facts.
Please, please, River CC, stop looking for problems and try to contribute positively to solutions.

Iain said...

... and just one further comment. The buses would have proper pull-n stops, off the A96 and rather than all bus routes jostling for position at a single bus stop there would be one for each direction. Better and safer access, more shelter and even less blocking of traffic than currently happens. You see, I am a bus user.

Graisg said...

I quoted Stephanie in her status as a Community Councillor Iain and not as a spokesperson for River CC.
You would have to ask River CC what their position would be over any potential removal of the Bus Station.
It could even be suggested that as a group that they still support the current aims and objectives of NICE. Thus are they, if fact not subscribers to that last plan that was drawn up or at least the spirit in which it was intended at the time. They after all contributed funds and representatives to the series of meetings that got NICE off the ground.
I think that perhaps NICE as part of the landscape should now be prepared to accept criticism just as other players in the great debacle that is Nairn town centre have received criticism (both constructive and negative) If NICE are seeking an expanded and proactive role in town centre development then they should be prepared for a thorough examination by the community. Some people might criticise just for the sake of it but others may have genuine points of concern. Thank goodness we live in a place where we can "gurn" if we so wish and do so without fear.

I speak as an individual here and not as a community councillor or as in any role on River CC ( not even the official opposition lol) - I won't be a member of that organisation until next month anyway.

Anonymous said...

Getting away from the above to the bus depot in the early 50,s the shop shown in the background was actually an old converted bus. It was owned by ma and pa mcivor .....that's what they called each other. They moved on in later years to run boath. park stores. In those days there was no bypass on king street.

Anonymous said...

Do we really have Hornby Buses on the Inverness-Aberdeen Route.That would be Nice.?

growtosow said...

seem to remember that old bus being used as a cafe teas coffees, anyone else rememember this, nairn has changed a lot since then some times for the better.

Graisg said...

@anon 8.42: Murd confirms the McIvor Café, he remembers it well too.

growtosow said...

aye things have changed over the years can remember when their was fields across from the west end garage and very few houses at tradespark, when you think back to then and now look at the amount of housing that has gone up, also when their was a level crossing at gollanfield makes you wonder sometimes.

Getonthebus Gus said...

Stephanie Whittaker's intentions appear to be honourable, but Iain is right that there has been a failure to understand the issues.

The problem with the bus stop which she says has been removed is that there was no lay-by or "pull-in" there. So inevitably when the bus stopped there it blocked the traffic completely (and for a long time if elderly people were getting on and off).

As Iain says, the NICE plan suggested a reconfiguration of the roadside just below the Community Centre so that in both directions there was a layby on each side of the main road for the buses to pull into, ensuring there would be no blocking of other traffic. Incidentally that also gives better and safer access to the town for bus passengers. No reason why there couldn't be a bus shelter by each layby too - just like those up between Duncan Drive and Moss-side Road.

Stephanie has not understood the current situation at the existing bus "station". The reason why there are sometimes "several" (actually two) buses there at the same time is because the westbound and eastbound ones both have to make the loop-turn in and out of the same bus-station area to use the same single stop. The NICE plan, by separating the stops so that each bus would pull in and stop on its own side of the main road without having to turn in and out across the trunk road traffic, makes life easier and safer for the buses, and also better for other vehicles and road users.

As the TV ad says..... "Simples!".

Discussions such as this only emphasise the point that the planning of the town centre - and especially of traffic management - should be looked at as a whole, not separately by River CC or any other neighbourhood group. Remember: divided we fall (or fail).

NICE was established largely to look at the wider picture and to enable an informed and constructive debate involving all points of view in the town. A good reason why serious comment such as Stephanie's, and the responses, might usefully go on to the NICE website too!

Graisg said...

These images have prompted a few memories from Murd. One more blast from the past. Murd tells the Gurn that buses went both ways up and down the High Street and you would get on or off at Doctor Grigor's statue. He says the bus station on King Street only came into being after the "by-pass" was created.

So the "bus station" has moved in the past and perhaps it could again if a better location could be found.

Anonymous said...

How did that old song go? "Get on the bus Gus and dont you come back no more no more."Or was it hit the road Jack.?

Anonymous said...

I'll stay on the bus. Forget about us. Put the blame on River CC. If I don't see a yellow ribbon round the old oak tree