Bedfordshire bus shelter saved from demolition after protests

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People holding up signs
Image caption,
Caddington residents campaigned to save "part of the landscape and heritage" of the village

The decision to demolish a disused bus shelter has been reversed by a council after villagers voted overwhelmingly for it to be saved.

Residents of Caddington, Bedfordshire, campaigned to save it after Central Bedfordshire Council (CBC) initially decided to tear down the "abandoned" brick structure.

Councillors have now voted unanimously in favour of keeping it.

Councillor Ian Dalgarno said it should stay due to the "passion held locally".

In 2018, the council decided to demolish after a survey of villagers showed 192 were for it being removed and 151 wanted it to stay.

Although it is owned by the parish council, it is on CBC land, and the latter decided it should go after a report found it was "abandoned and disused for a considerable amount of time" and no regular buses were stopping there.

Image source, Huw Evans picture agency
Image caption,
Caddington Parish Council said the shelter was still regularly used by schools and groups as a collection and drop-off point

Mr Dalgarno said: "In May 2019 the council was tasked with removing it, but due to public interest it did not take place."

A protest was mounted on 30 May when contractors went to demolish it, so Central Bedfordshire Council asked the parish council to get locals to vote again.

In January, it announced that 1,316 now wanted it to be saved, while 72 wanted it knocked down.

Image caption,
Barriers were put up around the shelter in May 2019 in preparation for its demolition which was later cancelled

Mark Russell, a resident, told CBC's executive committee it was "part of the landscape and heritage" of the village.

He said it needed "some TLC" and hoped both councils would consult and work together "to carry out the work".

Mr Dalgarno said windows could be cut into it to "improve visibility" for traffic.

He acknowledged it had been used for other community events such as being turned into a Santa's Grotto and it had also served as a home for a cardboard cut-out of Kylie Minogue at one point.

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