Alok Sharma, the Member of Parliament for Reading West, has welcomed a U-turn by Reading Borough Council over the site of a bus stop used by elderly residents in Oak Tree House.
Residents responded with dismay and contacted Alok when the Council moved the site of the Spey Road bus stop, which had been located directly in front of Oak Tree House for over a year, without any consultation with local people. Oak Tree House, which provides sheltered housing exclusively for people over 55, was opened nearly two years ago as part of the Dee Park regeneration. The new location for the bus stop required residents to walk around the corner of Spey Road and up a hill and was difficult for some of the elderly residents to get to, particularly during cold and wet weather.
Alok wrote to the Reading Borough Council in December, to raise the residents’ concerns, but the request to move the bus stop back in front Oak Tree House, where it was accessible to the elderly residents, was refused.
Following the disappointing response from the Council, Alok organised to meet with residents and to arrange a visible display of the strength of feeling on the issue by Oak Tree House residents, which took place on Friday 10th January. Local residents also organised a petition, which had received around 200 signatures.
Alok Sharma said: “I am delighted that the Council has seen some sense and reinstated the bus stop. This was not their position when the Council wrote back to me on 2 January and it is incredibly sad that it has taken a protest from elderly and vulnerable residents, together with their MP, to make the Council react. The impression this leaves is that, if they think they can get away with it, the Council’s Labour political masters are willing to ride roughshod over the elderly and vulnerable and those unable to make their voice heard.”
Photos: Alok Sharma with Oak Tree House residents