Dangerous turn for local school buses carrying our kids
AT 3.20pm every week day, buses filled with school children wait in line to turn right onto Centre St at a dangerous intersection in Casino.
The corner of Richmond St and Centre St (the Bruxner Hwy) is busy most of the time as cars and trucks pass through Casino to Grafton, Tenterfield and Lismore.
With a line up of buses waiting to turn left, go straight ahead or waiting even longer to turn right, a parent said sometimes the bus driver has asked an older child to walk across the pedestrian crossing on Centre St to stop the traffic so the buses can then cross.
It is an issue that has been ongoing for years and Roads and Maritime Services have refused to install a roundabout.
Difficult for drivers
Northern Buslines manager Dene Petty is a long term resident of Casino and turning right onto Centre Street from any of the intersections that meet it, including Canterbury Street and North Street, without roundabouts is somewhat problematic at the very least, he said.
"The critical time, for us, is at approximately 3.20pm when a number of buses, from all companies, leave Casino Public school and travel west up Richmond Street to turn right onto Centre Street on their way to the two Casino St Marys schools," Mr Petty said.
Make a caterpillar
"Basically what happens is that all the buses turning right onto Centre Street follow the leader in a "caterpillar" fashion, with all buses turning right onto Centre Street one after the other.
This holds up traffic in both directions whilst they are doing it.
"If you, as a driver of a bus, miss your spot in the "caterpillar" because a car has got between you and the other buses turning right then it becomes difficult to turn right on your own and bus drivers either have to force their way into the traffic or rely on other traffic to let them in."
We avoid these intersection's if possible, Mr Petty said.
"Of a morning we use Graham Place to bypass the Richmond St intersection when leaving Casino Public after dropping students and heading back to our depot in Walker Street.
"A roundabout at this intersection and the Canterbury Street intersection would alleviate everyone's problems."
Council onto it
Richmond Valley Council discussed the issue at a September meeting last year.
Roads and Maritime Services advised Council they were planning to do a Summerland Way Corridor Strategy.
The draft Strategy is now out for public consultation and the Council discussed a draft submission at its meeting yesterday.
The submission highlights the ongoing concerns with intersection treatments and congestion on the section of the Summerland Way and Bruxner Highway through Casino.
A roundabout would require Roads and Maritime Services approval and funding and Richmond Valley Council will continue to advocate for this on behalf of the community.
Concerned community members are encouraged to visit the RMS website and make a submission as part of the consultation process.
Go to www.rms.nsw. gov.au/ for more information.