No bus change to get kids home on Cup day
SCHOOLCHILDREN will again face difficulties getting home on Ballina Cup day, with bus companies maintaining normal timetables despite schools closing at noon on September 13.
The half-day local public holiday has been approved by the Minister for Industrial Relations, but there have been calls to scrap the holiday due to concerns about the impact on families with school-aged children.
Schools were closed from noon for the first time last year.
All Department of Education employees in the Ballina Shire Council area are now entitled to half a day off work.
Last year, school buses operated as normal in the morning but did not operate at the close of school at noon.
As part of the council's resolution to apply for the holiday, Transport for NSW was contacted to clarify school trans- port options. Comment was then sought from B&E Blanch and Ballina Buslines.
Transport for NSW regional manager Phil Sullivan told the council normal timetabled services were to be provided on localised half-day holidays.
"I note that the operators in question provide services beyond the Ballina Shire boundary and have obligations to connect with other services in areas such as Lismore and Byron Bay," Mr Sullivan wrote.
He also said some private and independent schools did not observe the holiday.
But there is concern this will create difficulties, particularly when parents of schoolchildren work outside the shire.