A joint community and States initiative has led to a new bus shelter being erected in St Martin's, outside the parish community centre.
The Professor Shaw Community Centre hosts numerous public and private events as well as community services.
With the heavy footfall in the area, the community centre managers and the charity Living Streets wanted to provide shelter for people waiting for the bus.
Funding was provided by the States' Committee for the Environment and Infrastructure, along with a fund raising effort organised jointly by the Community Centre and Living Streets.
Secretary of Living Streets, Pat Wisher said they all agreed the new shelter was needed and set about finding the money to do it.
“St. Martin’s has a very frequent bus service and as Guernsey’s third largest shopping centre and home to a school, busy Community Centre, Parish Hall, Supermarkets, Estate Agent (to name but a few), it was surprising that there wasn’t a bus shelter in its centre.
"This bus stop serves the airport and tourists on the round the island 91 bus. The nearest shelters are at The Old Mill or Grand Courtil.”
Pictured: Guernsey's buses can now be tracked online so you can see when your next service is due.
Charity, Living Streets has always said that it strongly believes more people would use the island's bus service if there were more bus shelters.
Mrs Wisher acknowledged that it is miserable waiting for a bus in the pouring rain, and in the case of the bus stop at the Community Centre, she said waiting passengers could end up soaking wet from passing cars splashing them.
The Community Centre had previously agreed for a shelter to be cut into their earth bank but had wanted the bank to be granite faced to match the one behind the existing seat, and at that time the Committee for Environment and Infrastructure considered that this extra expense could not be justified.
Further liaison between all the parties involved led to an agreement being made so the work could go ahead this autumn.
“Living Streets liaised with officers at Traffic and Highways Services to ask if it would be acceptable if we managed to raise the cost of the granite work (which was estimated at £4,000)," said Mrs Wisher.
"The answer was positive so we produced a document and delivered it to all the organisations in the Parish Centre. This was in early 2020 and our funding effort was badly affected by the pandemic. However, we did manage to raise the full amount owing to some generous donations."
The States' Traffic and Highways Services team organised the installation of the new bus shelter which is now in place. The new facility has been welcomed by the Chairman of the Community Centre Trustees, The Very Revd Marc Trickey. He said:
“On behalf of the Trustees, we are delighted with the result of the cooperation between the States and the local community to provide a most welcome addition to the convenience of bus travel and which doesn’t detract from the ambiance of the general street scene at the centre of St Martin’s.”
Community Centre Manager, Brian Sarre was very much involved in the fundraising and planning of the project. He added:
“A great job done by all involved in this project, its location is ideal and not at all obtrusive, but blends nicely into the backdrop of the Community Centre.”
Mrs Wisher said she was pleased to see the bus shelter up and that this has been "an example of a successful joint initiative between the E & I Department, the St. Martin’s Douzaine and the residents of St. Martin and it will benefit bus users for generations to come".
Pictured (l-r): Deputy Lindsay de Sausmarez, Rev. Daniel Foot, Pat Wisher, and Colin Le Page.
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