Pensioner left out in cold after Fleet hargate bus shelter is boarded up

Fleet bus shelter boarded up
Fleet bus shelter boarded up
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A retired villager in Fleet Hargate was shocked to find a historic bus stop she has relied on for transport has been boarded up.

Joan Woolard says the shelter has been in constant use for 62 years and a lifeline for people like her who are retired and can’t drive.

People don’t understand the impact of something like this unless it effects them – most people drive

Retired villager Joan Woolard

The bus stop is situated in Old Main Road, on private land outside the old Fleet Hargate school, which was previously used as a fitness centre.

Joan said: “It’s in a conservation area and the bus stop was built by the parish council for about £40, the proceeds of the old jail – a site now occupied by two semis opposite the Bull Inn.

“Tradition says the school was moved ‘brick by brick’ from the churchyard (a mile westward) to its present site on the Hargate (now Old Main Road).

“A stone on the gable end facing the road says 1842. The hall was owned by the church and then used by Royal British Legion and others for whist drives, etc, until it was sold to Fleurette Stinders, who opened it as a gym while living in the attached bungalow at the rear.

“She retired and now her son Steve Stinders is developing it into two apartments.

“I know it’s on private land but the bus shelter belongs to the parish council and it was boarded up without warning.

“People don’t understand the impact of something like this unless it effects them – most people drive.

“But until recently it was used and has been in constant use for 62 years.”

South Holland District Council received a revised application for conversion of the gymnasium/ fitness centre to two dwellings in December last year. The plan won approval at the planning committee meeting last month and work has now begun.

At the time of going to press Mr Stinders had not been in contact with the Spalding Guardian to comment.

A spokesman for Norfolk Green bus service said: “We operate a hail and ride service so residents will still be able to catch our buses if they are stood in a safe place.”