School bus stop rage

PARENTS in Coffs Harbour's Combine Street area are up in arms about Busways plans to delete three stops from the school bus run in the Combine Street area, and create a new bus stop in Murphy Crescent.

At present no school buses use Murphy Crescent and the change will see five school buses travelling the street twice a day.

Murphy Close, say residents, is a narrow residential street that is not designed for buses. But Busways says the changes to its school bus route in the area are being made purely for the safety of the children using the service, not for any economic reasons.

From November 1, Busways plans to stop the school bus service to bus stops in Gallagher Place, Lockyer Close, and Endeavour Drive, picking up the children from these streets at a new location at the western end of Murphy Crescent, off Combine Street, or from a stop near the intersection of Airlie Close and Combine Street.

The change will mean that school buses no longer back up into Gallagher Place in order to turn round and will mean some children have much further to walk to catch their bus.

For Year 1 student Taleah Duncombe, the youngest student on her bus, it will mean walking 1.2km and crossing four streets to reach her new bus stop.

The manager of Busways' Coffs Harbour depot, Sunny Brailey, said it was now Busways' policy that reversing buses was too dangerous and the company would only take buses to the nearest area where they could turn around.

He said the company would take school buses right up Combine Street the moment the council provided a traffic link between Combine Street and King Street, but Combine Street residents had objected when this was proposed.

Mr Brailey said he had asked Coffs Harbour City Council to provide a bus shelter at the Airlie Close bus stop so children would have shelter in wet weather.

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