College Bus stops in Sand Hill Farnborough petition
Response from Hampshire County Council, February 2014
Thank you for the petition received 13 January 2014, requesting that bus stops in the area around Farnborough Sixth Form College be moved further away from the college grounds.
It might be useful if I set out the background to the issues you raise before providing details of the actions which are proposed.
The County Council has no influence over the number of students travelling, or the number of buses carrying them, to and from the Sixth Form College. The growth of the college is a result of a number of changes to the statutory basis of post-16 education over the years, most recently the change of the school-leaving age from 16 to 17 in September 2013.
The buses themselves are provided on a commercial basis by the Stagecoach bus company, and the College has promoted the use of public transport by negotiating season ticket discounts with the rail and bus companies to encourage students to travel using those modes. This is intended to reduce the number of cars that would otherwise need to use the roads in the area or would park during the college day in surrounding roads, as you have observed. I must advise that although the County Council is happy to provide advice it has no power to intervene in the transport policy of the College or prevent the bus company from using the public highway.
As with buses serving any residential area, those using Sand Hill are timetabled to stop only as long as is necessary to pick up passengers. In the case of the college buses, this is likely to involve a wait of a few minutes while students board at the end of the college day, and is normal practice in the vicinity of any school or college.
With regard to specific concern about the bus stop near Honey Court mentioned in the petition, I understand that Rushmoor Borough Council has reviewed the existence of the parking spaces at 76/78 Sand Hill, as part of a wider review by that Council of local parking arrangements, and that they have concluded that these spaces should be removed and bus stop clearway markings put there, as well as in the lay-by outside the college on the opposite side of Sand Hill from your address. Once these measures are in place, I will ask County Council officers to monitor the new arrangements and to take any further steps necessary to fine-tune them to minimise any inconvenience to local residents.
Councillor Seán Woodward
Executive Member for Economy, Transport and Environment