Bus service thrown into danger
A CASINO bus company has threatened to withdraw services from an area of the town following incidents involving projectiles being thrown at its buses.
The Casino Bus Service, which operates school and town services, issued a statement to schools in the region warning of the “immediate suspension” of services to the North Casino area.
“As a result of recent rock and projectile throwing incidents involving our buses operating in the area, we are required to perform a safety audit of all bus services we provide,” the statement read.
“Any further incidents of this nature will require the immediate suspension of services to the area until it is deemed safe by the police and Casino Bus Service for our drivers and customers to travel on buses.
“Under these circumstances, there would be no advance warning of withdrawal of services.”
It is understood the Casino Bus Service is the only provider of a school service to North Casino.
Richmond Local Area Command Acting Inspector Jackie Lilley confirmed police had received reports of four separate incidents of projectiles being thrown at buses.
The first three incidents were reported on May 25 and the fourth on June 2. One incident involved an empty can being thrown at a bus. In another, a football was kicked at a bus and in two other cases “unknown projectiles” were thrown.
Police had spoken with a number of people and had issued formal cautions, Acting Insp Lilley said.
“Those formal cautions and having the school send a letter is the most appropriate action,” she said.
The NSW Department of Transport said the Casino Bus Service had an obligation to protect its customers and had the power to divert or suspend services in situations that threatened drivers or passengers.
The department confirmed the bus company would carry out the safety audit of the affected routes to identify potential risks and determine “practical ways to stop this happening in the future”.
Housing NSW, which operates a residential estate in North Casino, said the department would organise a community meeting on June 29 to discuss a number of issues, including bus safety.
It is understood police, representatives of the Richmond Valley Council and local residents will be invited to attend.