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Passengers are angry they cannot read information signs at Chatham's new state-of-the-art bus station because of the sun

By Nicola Jordan

Passengers using Chatham’s main bus station have already complained about being exposed to wind, rain and snow but now have they have another weather gripe – the sun.

The multi-million pound waterfront terminal close to the River Medway and the meagre covering it offers to those waiting for buses leaves it exposed to the worst of the elements in the winter months.

But even the best weather is also causing problems. When the sun shines brightly, customers cannot see electronic displays indicating when and where their buses will arrive, because of the glare.

John Castle is fed up with the information screens at Chatham Bus Sation
John Castle is fed up with the information screens at Chatham Bus Sation

John Castle, Medway Liberal Democrat chairman, has taken up the issue with the council on behalf of concerned passengers.

Mr Castle, who lives in Chatham and has used the bus station, said: “When the information point is closed, after 6pm on weekdays, 5pm on Saturdays and all day on Sundays, people have no option but to struggle, or else try to find details themselves, for example, on their smartphones. But this is something that might not be possible for elderly residents or those who cannot afford technology.

Mr Castle, a software engineer has since had a response from the council’s senior transport manager saying they were aware of the problem and were investigating ways of overcoming it. The officer went on to apologise for any inconvenience.

But Mr Castle said: “That doesn’t help residents who are struggling now.

“The council needs to take action to find and implement a solution as soon as possible.

“Perhaps it might help if council officers and councillors used public transport a bit more.”

Cllr Phil Filmer, who is responsible for public transport, said: “While we have already turned all screens up to their optimum brightness, we are aware that some screens at platform B are still difficult to read on a bright day.

“In addition to other proposals, such as attaching a cover, we are also looking into the feasibility of installing different screens on this platform.”

The bus station in Waterfront Way opened in 2011 replacing the old run-down facility in the Pentagon Shopping Centre.

Rising costs meant the final bill was in the region of £7 million. At the time some complained the project was a waste of money.

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