Ticket stops here
By BELINDA SCOTT
ROBYN Barrass says cul-de-sac residential estates and rules that prevent buses from backing are creating environmental and social problems for Coffs Harbour.
Mrs Barrass, who has lived in West Coffs Harbour's Merino Drive for 10 years, said she was forced to maintain a car because it was impossible for her and many other residents, to use public transport.
The elderly resident, who walks with the aid of a stick, said the nearest bus stop to her home in Merino Drive was at the Shephards Lane roundabout, which was a very long walk and bus companies would not come closer.
Mrs Barrass said Coffs Harbour City Council kept approving residential developments with cul-de-sacs and no through roads.
"This makes it absolutely impossible for bus services to be developed because there are no turnarounds," Mrs Barrass said.
A row has broken out this week between Combine Street parents and the Busways bus company over changes to school bus routes which the company has introduced because there is nowhere for buses to turn in the area and they will no longer reverse buses.
The manager of Busways Coffs Harbour depot, Sunny Brailey, said a company representative had recently appealed to Coffs Harbour City Council to introduce through streets.
Mrs Barrass said there were plans for hundreds of new house lots west of Shephards Lane but each development stopped at the edge of the creek because no developer wanted to go to the expense of putting in bridges.
"This is short-sighted development because it pushes up the pollution levels from the hundreds of cars and adds to greenhouses gases, but we have to keep cars because there is no option.
While Coffs Harbour City Council had future plans to make several cul-de-sacs in the area into through roads, for example linking Merino Drive to Pearce Drive and Roselands Drive to Shephards Lane, it doesn't give Mrs Barrass much immediate hope.
"That's so far in the future I'll probably be carried out in my wooden box before then," she said.
Cul-de-sac streets are popular with home buyers because they are quiet, with minimal traffic, so developers are keen to include as many as possible in estates.