From Sunday, 3rd October Stagecoach buses will no longer observe the southbound bus stop outside the old Gillow's building on North Road. The stop, which has had various names over the last few years is currently known as "opposite Sainsburys" and traditionally was used mainly by passengers alighting from buses heading to the city centre from the west and north.
The North Road stop
However, the growth of student accommodation has led to large numbers of passengers boarding buses there, particularly those heading for the University in the morning peak hour. Although few passengers pay cash, the boarding process is still prolonged by the need for all prepaid tickets to be scanned and read by the ticket machine, leading to delays to the buses and to traffic that is stuck behind the loading bus. Stagecoach also says that by not observing the stop, buses will be able to remain in the outside lane on North Road and therefore access the bus station more easily.
Buses operated by Kirkby Lonsdale Coach Hire on services 8 (St Chads), 582 (Skipton) and L1 (Park & Ride) will continue to use the stop, which is not being removed.
Whilst the Bus Users' Group would normally be opposed in principle to the removal of a much-used bus stop we do recognize the problems caused both to car drivers and to bus passengers heading for the bus station who are being delayed by the use of this stop. Loading the University-bound passengers at the bus station, which is only 280 metres away via the pedestrian crossing on North Road and where the buses are allowed time in the schedule to load and unload, does not appear too unreasonable. Passengers who currently alight here to visit the Sainsbury's supermarket on the other side of the road will find that the bus station is a mere 60 or so metres farther away.
We will, however, keep an eye on the situation and if other difficulties become apparent we will take them up with the powers-that-be.