Father battles for safer bus stop
MARK WALLER is worried, not just for his own two children, but for 14 other children who need to cross a busy road to catch their school bus. The Blanch's bus stops to pick up the children just below the crest of Montwood Drive at Lennox Head, opposite Ibis Place. "My daughter Jasmine, eight, has been catching the bus for nearly two years, and she and every other child has to cross the road to catch the bus," Mr Waller said. "I have asked the bus company to change the place they pick up the kids to the opposite side of the road, but they won't do it." The stop is located 50 metres below the crest of a hill. "Even though it is a 50km/h speed zone many of the cars travel much faster," Mr Waller says. "And just the other day my girls and I were stranded in the middle of the road as a car crested the hill. "It was frightening." Mr Waller, a well-known local artist, said he had spoken to Blanch's, but was told the reason the bus could not pick up on the opposite side of the road was the bus driver. He said Blanch's told him the bus used on the morning run had a manual transmission. Its driver preferred to stop on the downhill side of the road to avoid having to do a hill start. The afternoon bus is an automatic. After dropping the kids off on the other side of the road, being an automatic, it made it easier to take off up the hill. A Blanch's spokesman was contacted by x Thex Northern Star yesterday, but declined to comment. Ballina Shire Council civil services group manager John Truman said Mr Waller's concerns were taken to the Traffic Advisory Committee. "A determination was made and we have not yet had the opportunity to speak with residents," he said. "We agree the picking up and setting down at the intersection is not desirable, but there is an existing formal bus stop in close proximity that would be suitable. "If for some reason it is not suitable, the traffic committee would review the decision."