Bus stop 'a $1m waste'

Parents say completed works have failed to deliver the key safety requirement of eliminating the need for school children to cross the highway when the bus drops them off in the afternoon.
Parents say completed works have failed to deliver the key safety requirement of eliminating the need for school children to cross the highway when the bus drops them off in the afternoon. © Royalty-Free/CORBIS

RESIDENTS of Pacific Highway village of Swan Creek believe almost $1million of taxpayers' money has been wasted trying to improve their road safety.

Only a few months ago the Roads and Maritime Services completed a bus stop and road turn-off to make it less-dangerous for cars to leave and access the Pacific Hwy.

But the parents say the completed works have failed to deliver the key safety requirement of eliminating the need for school children to cross the highway when the bus drops them off in the afternoon.

After putting up with the continual disruption that roadworks cause for a project they say has delivered little or no benefit to the community, residents have been left scratching as to what benefits have really been delivered.

Many of them have taken issue with the fact that local children are still forced to cross the Pacific Hwy on their way home from the school bus.

"My six-year-old who has apsergers is forced to cross the Pacific Highway," said local resident Samantha Delaforce.

Ms Delaforce's solution was for drivers from the company that takes her children to school to walk them across the road.

"I do not believe children's safety is worth less than two minutes of children's time," she said.

Roads and Maritime Services were responsible for the project and they have since argued that the roadwork's only aims were to improve the traffic situation for south- bound vehicles.

North-bound vehicles such as school buses that take children home are unable to use the bus stop because the placement of the re-entry point to the highway involves pulling out into 100 kmh traffic at a point where oncoming traffic can not be seen as it is obscured by a rise in the road.

One bus driver said he had not requested authorisation from Transport New South Wales to use the bus stop.

His reason was that using the bus stop when driving north would involve endangering the safety of his passengers.

He also said that there had been no real consultation regarding the project.

Local residents have also noted that the new road is already showing signs of wear and tear and has several pot-holes.

"What are they going to do next? Close the entrance to the highway and spend $60,000 resurfacing it," a Swan Creek resident said.

Meanwhile Transport NSW seemed largely oblivious to the problems with the construction.

"The $960,000 NSW Government-funded work was completed in June and provides improved pedestrian and bus access for the Swan Creek community on and off the Pacific Highway," said a Transport NSW spokesperson yesterday.

"The improvements provide increased vision for motorists and a separate left turn lane onto the highway. The upgrade was planned and built in consultation with Atwal bus company, local council and the local community," said the Transport NSW representative.

Topics:  bus stop, pacific highway, road safety, swan creek

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