Despite the millions of pounds spent on the prom scheme, the DoI will be reinstalling mostly old bus shelters along it, the DoI Minister has told Tynwald.
Tim Baker was asked by Jason Moorhouse how many bus shelters there will be and what the total budget for them is.
Mr Baker said the overall budget for the shelters was £69,900.
Mr Moorhouse pushed Mr Baker further and asked: ‘Is it simply the plan to replace the old bus shelters back on the promenade?’
Mr Baker confirmed that 12 of the shelters are ‘old ones which are being reused’, one of them is a new shelter to match the existing ones and the other is a new ‘bespoke’ bus shelter which will be situated in the Cultural Zone.
However that failed to satisfy Mr Moorhouse who asked: ‘Do you agree with me that these old, rusty, tired and in many cases damaged shelters do nothing to encourage people to travel by bus and actually makes the heavy investment on resurfacing the surrounding area questionable?’
Mr Baker replied: ‘I think the key thing to encourage people to travel by bus is the excellent service that Bus Vannin provides. Clearly in a world of budgets which were unconstrained, one would have loved to replace all the bus shelters along Douglas Promenades as part of the scheme. However, that was not necessary, there was only one of the shelters that couldn’t be made useful for continuing service once it was removed, that has been scrapped, so I think it’s a responsible use of public funds.’
The heavily delayed prom scheme is costing the Manx taxpayer at least £25m, but a Tynwald report earlier this year suggested that the true cost was being hidden and DoI Chief Exec Nick Black told that committee the scheme ‘has no definitive budget’.