Concerns over buses parking on Bircham Road

The subject of buses parking on Bircham Road has again been raised, with residents claiming this presents dangers for drivers and problems for pedestrians. However, the bus company said the parking had been “authorised” by local authorities and that there is no other reasonable alternative.

Vehicles parked on Bircham Road, near the junction of Norwich Road, Reepham. Photos: submitted

Holt-based Sanders Coaches runs bus services no. 42/43 between Reepham and Norwich – around seven buses leave Reepham Market Place on weekdays and four on Saturdays.
A Bircham Road resident, who wishes to remain anonymous, has contacted Reepham Life, pointing out that the bus drivers have recently started parking their buses on the corner of Bircham Road and Norwich Road.
“This means that as you drive into Bircham Road from the direction of the Market Place you are immediately confronted face to face with a bus parked on the right-hand side of the road – far too close to the junction,” he said.
“As a car driver you have to stop and manoeuvre onto the wrong side of the road, completely blind to cars coming down the hill towards you. This is a head-on accident waiting to happen.
“In addition, on occasions when turning left into Bircham Road, another car is following you when you have to stop suddenly owing to the parked bus. Although no great speeds are involved this is a very dangerous situation.
“On other occasions, owing to cars parked on the right-hand side of the road, the bus driver then parks on the left side facing Norwich Road with the wheels right across the path against the grass verge, which makes the path unusable for pedestrians.
“The third bus parking spot is directly opposite the junction on Norwich Road. Highway Code rule 243 states that you do not stop or park opposite or within 10 metres (33 feet) of a junction, except in an authorised parking space.
“Also rule 239 states that if you have to stop at the roadside, do not park facing against the traffic flow. Further, Rule 244 states that you must not park wholly or partially on the pavement in London and should not do so elsewhere.”
The resident said Sanders Coaches bus drivers are contravening these rules, adding: “I realise the need for a bus service in our rural community, but surely there is a better and far safer location for the buses to park than on the side of a residential street.”
A Sanders spokesperson said the company had previously contacted both Reepham Town Council and Norfolk County Council, which had agreed that the buses could park in Bircham Road between services – rather than in the Market Place, where the buses were blocking car parking spaces.
“We then had complaints when the buses parked in Norwich Road, so Bircham Road was felt to be the only reasonable option,” he said.
“The drivers are instructed not to cause any issues there – they do not park outside anyone’s house and do not block any driveways. There is simply no other place for the buses to park if Reepham wants to continue having a bus service to Norwich.”
Les Paterson, chairman of Reepham Town Council, said this problem had not been discussed specifically at recent Council meetings, but urged residents with any issues about parking to contact the Town Council, which may be able to take complaints further to the appropriate authorities.

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