FIX THIS BUS MESS TODAY
By LEONIE BRANN
A GROUP of concerned parents put their kids back on the buses today and yesterday, to show Transport Minister John Watkin's top man the full extent of the chaos created by changes to the Kirklands Buslines' timetables.
The parents want the Director-General of the Ministry of Transport, John Lee, to see first-hand the conditions their children have to endure when he arrives today to sort out the chaos.
Uralba woman, Tamsin Jackson, was the driving force behind the idea to put kids back on the bus, instead of parents driving their children to and from school.
Mrs Jackson had taken her daughters Eryn, 9, and Clare, 7, who attend Alstonville Public School, off the bus at the start of the school term because the changes meant their bus ride home had blown out from 15 minutes to more than one hour.
But she had a point to make.
"We did this to draw attention to the absolutly crazy situation Kirklands have placed us in ? our children, instead of taking only 15 minutes to get home, now take more than one hour and we only live a few kilometres from the school," Mrs Jackson said.
"Things have been pretty crazy, but imagine the chaos that would be created if all the students who had bus passes had been using them?
"This is why, when we found out the Minister was sending the Director-General, we decided he should be given a true idea of what is happening, so we got parents who have been driving their kids to make them catch the bus to school.
"We want him to see first-hand the craziness that has been created by these changes."
On Wednesday, Mr Watkins announced he was dis- patching his top man to fix the Kirklands Buslines' timetable chaos ? and he wanted answers within 48 hours.
Mrs Jackson is one of a group of parents who have been invited by Member for Lismore Thomas George to attend special meetings to outline their concerns to the Director-General.
A spokesman for the Ministry of Transport said Mr Lee arrived last night and would inspect the operation of bus services and the Brewster Street bus interchange, before meeting with Member for Lismore Thomas George and stakeholders.
He said Mr Lee would meet with local school principals, members of the Lis- more branch of the Bus and Coach Association and parents, before a lunchtime meeting with Kirklands' management and an afternoon inspection of the bus interchange