Buses have stopped calling at The Johnson Community Hospital – partly because turning into and out of the site has been deemed dangerous.
Brylaine Travel, which runs the K59 service between Spalding and Boston, has also removed a loop around nearby Enterprise Way and Wardentree Lane in Pinchbeck, prompting disappointment from workers who relied upon it.
Brylaine says there is a “risk” to its passengers and other road users by buses performing right turns when entering and exiting the hospital site in Spalding Road.
That’s a “lame excuse”, according to an elderly Spalding resident incon-venienced by the move. And June Corns (82) believes it goes against a government push to use public transport.
She said: “They are trying to get people to use buses and not cars but how can you use the bus when the service isn’t there?
“All drivers negotiate these problems – I used to when I drove many years ago.
“It is quite a busy road but this seems like a lame excuse.”
Brylaine says it would welcome a bus stop and safe crossing near the entrance to the hospital site. However, Lincolnshire County Council has already looked into that idea and ruled it out.
The Boston firm said: “Brylaine Travel have recently removed the Johnson Hospital stop from the K59 service due to insufficient passengers numbers in order to justify the time taken to enter the hospital, and the risk northbound contained in turning right into the hospital and exiting the hospital on departure.”
An audit prior to the change found that only six passengers went into and out of the hospital via the K59 service over a period of five working days.
Chris Briggs, head of transportation at Lincolnshire County Council, said: “I think it’s a shame that this decision has been taken, but the K59 is a commercial service so we have no influence over where the operator stops.
“We have looked at installing a bus stop on the road outside the hospital, but there wasn’t a suitable safe place to provide a stop so we couldn’t progress the idea.”
Brylaine’s move has also been criticised by Angela Newton, who is chairman of Johnson Hospital League of Friends, chairman of South Holland Parish Voluntary Car Service and a Lincolnshire county councillor.
Mrs Newton said: “I have got sympathy with people wanting to get to the hospital on a bus.
“I understand that if people don’t use the buses then they cannot run forever, but this is just going to lead to people getting their cars out.
“Brylaine only took this service on [from Kime’s] last year. They should have done a business case to see if it was viable.”
Mrs Newton said a return trip to the hospital from anywhere in Spalding via the voluntary car service is £4.
Meanwhile, a worker on Wardentree Business Park is unhappy that Brylaine has shortened its route to exclude that area. She now has a 40-minute walk from Spalding.
“It’s disappointing because I used to get off the bus near Morrisons and have a couple of minutes’ walk to work,” she said.
Brylaine said the move was necessary due to “timing issues”.