Council asks about transport needs
BYRON Shire residents could be forgiven for thinking the results of a new survey on transport needs in the region will be obvious.
The consequences and ramifications of the abysmal state of public transport on the Northern Rivers are felt daily throughout the north coast.
Teenagers are forced to hitchhike.
Lack of transport isolates elederly people.
Someone who lives out of town and has no licence becasue of youth or suspension effectively finds themselves in home detention.
An unemployed person may not be able to find a bus that will get them to a job interview, let alone a 9-5 friendly service if they get the job.
But the council’s Transport Advisory Committee chair, Basil Cameron, believes it is a long overdue first step.
“At present we know very little about what the community think of the services available and even less about what they may want,” he said.
“While council is not currently a public transport provider, it does have an important role in advocacy and assisting the community where possible.”
Byron council is calling on residents to get involved in the survey that it hopes will help inform the development of a region-wide transport strategy.
Entrants can also win $100, $20 or $25 for their efforts.
The committee is especially interested in the needs of Federal and Ocean Shores residents and of young people across the shire.
“Council recognises the transport disadvantage faced by many within our community,” Cr Cameron said.
“A lack of transport is a known barrier to participation, be it employment, education, community or even social engagement, with many having no choice but to rely on the private motor vehicle.
“This will also assist with any future discussions with NSW Transport, the main provider of funds and services in regard to public or community transport.”