Scared pensioners are choosing to go on mile-and-a-half detour by bus to get to a post office rather than walk 30 FEET across a road amid fears they will get knocked over.
Grange Park OAPs are getting on the bus from Plymouth Road to go to Layton post office on Westcliffe Drive instead of crossing the busy A586 between Blackpool and Poulton to get to the post office inside the Texaco service station.
There is a crossing on Plymouth Road – but many of the pensioners have mobility problems and can’t walk the 400 yards from the crossing to the garage.
So they are now choosing to get on a bus and travel to Layton, collecting their pensions and then returning, getting off at the bus stop right next to the lights.
The huge detour comes after a 73-year-old woman was left with a broken hip while trying to cross the road to get to the Texaco garage earlier this month.
These pensioners don’t want to be next – and want a pelican crossing right outside the post office.
Yvonne Ogden, 60, lives opposite the Texaco garage – but chooses to get the bus to Layton instead.
She said: “I just don’t like crossing over because of the traffic. There’s no good crossing.”
Fellow Grange Park resident Ken Hyde, 71, said: “My first impression was that someone is going to be knocked down on the way to get their post.
“It’s causing a lot of problems, even for little things like getting stamps.”
Their fears came to a head earlier this month, when a 73-year-old woman was struck by a vehicle on the road at around 1.30pm on October 7.
She was taken by ambulance to Royal Preston Hospital with a suspected broken left hip.
The problems have come about after the old Grange Park post office shut down – with services transferred to the Texaco garage when no-one could be found to take on the role on the estate.
Mr Hyde said: “I thought that might happen from the day they transferred the post office to the garage.
“The lady hasn’t passed away, thank goodness, but we don’t want to wait until someone gets killed before they start doing something about it.”
Another Grange Park resident, Lyn Hanson, 74, said: “I’m disabled so I’m not quick enough to get over the road. I’ve got to go all the way down to the roundabout at Plymouth Road. I can only walk so far.
“I think an accident was to be expected.”
The post office at Layton is in McColl’s and close to a bus stop.
The stop on the other side of Westcliffe Drive is directly opposite the post office with a traffic island separating both sides of the carriageway, making it easier for people to cross to catch the bus home.
Grange Park community organiser Terry Bennett, 75, said: “It’s absolutely ridiculous.
The pensioners and people having to use a stick to walk are having a hard time crossing the road.
“A lot of the pensioners can’t walk to the crossing and get their pension and then walk another 400 yards back.
“I was asked the other day where the nearest post office was and I said ‘you don’t want the nearest, you want the safest’. Some pensioners are catching the number 6 bus down to Layton where they can get their pension safely.”
Residents added that they had informed Blackpool Council of their concerns, adding that they hoped to see either a pelican crossing set up close to the Texaco garage, or a new post office built on the Grange Park estate.
Park ward councillor and deputy council leader Gillian Campbell expressed her concerns about move to the Texaco garage in a letter to the Post Office earlier this year.
She said: “Pedestrian access to the new site is very poor with pedestrians having to negotiate and cross the busy A586. Poulton Road.
“There are no safe means for pedestrians to cross the road. Due to this pedestrians will cross Poulton Road where it is not safe to do so and this will lead to conflict with other road users.
“Blackpool Council Highways always listens to residents’ concerns and tries to assist within the resources and funding available.
“The council would be willing to monitor the area and dependent upon funding could investigate suitable options.”
However, Post Office bosses say they were unable to find anyone on the estate willing to run new counter following the closure of the existing post office, which was run by postmaster Peter Collins for 34 years.