S2
Monday, 21 August 2017
SBC
22 February 2012

Slough's Notorious Slug Bus Station Examined

Should The Responsible People be Sacked without Bonuses?


While it rained for several hours on a cold and wet Saturday afternoon, 18 February, I visited Slough Borough Council's much criticised Slug bus station. Passengers say it is a very expensive silver-coloured monstrosity looking like a quashed onion with the top sliced-off.

The first problem affecting passengers is not all the town centre buses stop at, or start from, the new £12 million bus station.

  • Some buses never go into the bus station.
  • Some bus services stop in the open-air in Wellington Street.
  • Some buses stop at one of the 4 different bus stops in Station Approach.
  • Some start and finish their journey inside the Slug bus station.

A Pensioner misses her bus

On Saturday afternoon I witnessed the heart-breaking and undignified struggle of a very elderly pensioner desperately running, as fast as her weary legs could take her, from inside the Slug to the Wellington Street bus stop to catch her bus. But the bus departed. The frail old lady, now exhausted, had no seat near the bus stop. She was forced by Slough's uncaring Labour-run council to stand in the pouring rain waiting for the next bus.

Everything closes at 4 pm

The Slug's public waiting room and cafe close at 4 pm. so passengers have no place to shelter from the rain, the damp and the cold.

Inside the bus station, some passenger were seen using umbrellas to shelter themselves from rain and from the constant drips from the Slug's roof.

Open-air seating icy, wet and windy

Labour's Slough Council provided seats out in the open, with no shelter at all. Perhaps they never travel by bus?

In very cold weather, as experienced every year in Slough, the solid metal seats tend to stick to people's clothing especially if damp. If it rains or snows and then turns icy, passengers have a choice between an icy steel seat or standing. No much choice if you are elderly or disabled.

Departure Notices with Encrypted Messages

Slough Council installed bus Departure Notices in the open with no shelter ensuring passenger will get wet whilst trying to discover which bus goes from which of the many differently bus stops.

To confuse passengers, Slough Council placed at the bottom of its Departures Notice this cryptic message:-

Services 75,76 to H'Row, 77 to T5, 583 to Uxb, 702 to Ldn go to Wellington Street (A4).

Slough Council's bosses, including chief executive Ruth Bagley, have publicly claimed in 3.1/2 months many tens of thousands of Olympic tourists will flood our town. Its bad enough having a dying and deprived town, an over-abundance of empty office blocks, rising crime, social decay, severe overcrowding, massive council-created traffic jams, 10% of the population living in garden sheds. Add the daily air pollution AND the Slug bus station. That's enough to frighten away most tourists.

If Slough will be invaded by 50,000 Olympic tourists, how many of those foreigners will understand:-

Services 75,76 to H'Row, 77 to T5, 583 to Uxb, 702 to Ldn go to Wellington Street (A4).

Slough Council has badly let everyone down.

Bus Drivers join criticisms of Slough Council

Bus drivers confided in me that they detest and hate the Slug. They say it is an unsafe laughing stock.

They criticise the Slug's absurd and potentially dangerous system for driving into, and reversing out of, bus bays.

They also criticised the Slug's too narrow access road connection with William Street. That access road is too narrow to let buses entering and leaving pass each other.

Bus drivers grumbled they have no heating in their canteen. There is a television set but it can not use it because the council refuses to let them have an outdoor television aerial. The council say a television aerial will spoil the Slug's appearance.

Background

Council sources say the Slug is half the originally size. It was reduced because Cllr Swindle and his Labour councillors wanted to flog-off part of the Slug site for a prestige office block.

The now demolished Brunel bus station and car park were destined, or should that be condemned ?, by Labour's Deputy Leader Cllr James Swindlehurst to become two separate triangular office blocks. However the developer withdrew when it discovered Slough's abundance of empty quality office blocks - some empty for more than 20 years.

Medical doctors working with dementia suffers say it is much kinder not to distress Slough's council bosses and their Labour councillors by pointing-out that when 75% of Slough's office blocks are empty it means there is no economic activity going-on inside those empty office blocks; and growing local unemployment is not a reliable indicator of economic success.

Is this really Professional Competence ?

One wonders whether the council mafia were drunk or deranged when they embarked on their disastrous £12 million project to replace a larger fully-functioning bus station and car park above it, The Brunel, with the much smaller open-air Slug.

The Brunel had at least another 20 years life left in it. It could have been fully modernised and improved for less than £1 million. Instead Labour and its council mafia spent £12 million of public money on a sub-standard, immensely unpopular mini-bus station with insufficient space for all the buses.

Who can the Public blame for this terrible fiasco ?

Senior council staff and Labour's ruling leaders Cllr Rob Anderson and Cllr James Swindlehurst are all car owners. It is doubtful they ever noticed the dreadful plight of frail and disabled bus passengers.

Cllr James Swindlehurst and Cllr Rob Anderson say the public voted for this shocking monstrosity known as the Slough Slug, because the majority of people voted Labour.

Instead of giving us a first class fit-for-purpose bus station everyone could be proud of, Labour councillors and and council bosses wasted £12 million of public money on a pitiful apology for a bus station.

The Fundamental Unanswered Question

Why are the public paying £12 million for a cold, wind-swept, damp and wet mini-bus station, very badly planned and not meeting the public's needs ?

is a question I, like many others, can not answer. I wonder who can and how honest their answers are likely to be.

Paul Janik
The Slough Party.