Blind man calls for bus route review

RICHARD Carr blames recent bus route changes for a fall which put him in hospital for two days.

Legally blind, Richard and his guide dog, Morris, used to have a straightforward five-minute walk to the bus stop but now it takes them about 20 minutes over a much more difficult route.

That's why they were part of a small protest on Saturday calling for Busways to reconsider its route change in South Grafton.

“I used to just say to Morris 'bus stop' and we'd cross George Street and Hawthorne Street and we were there,” Richard said.

“Now we have to walk down George Street to Armidale Road and while it's not far, the footpaths are uneven and recently I slipped in the mud and hit my knee and ended up in hospital for two days.”

Richard says the footpath on Armidale Road has a slope that is difficult for him to negotiate - he has to walk sideways for safety - and that the bus stop they now use is placed too close to the road.

“Morris has to go onto the road to get to it,” he said.

Clarence MP Steve Cansdell joined Saturday's protest outside the Busways depot in Skinner Street, South Grafton, and he expressed his determination to take up the residents' case with NSW Transport Minister, David Campbell.

To boost his argument, locals who have been badly impacted by Busways route changes are encouraged to tell their stories.

Anyone interested in writing the story of how they have been affected should contact Peter Jackson on 6643 4680 or they can leave a written account with Lori McIntyre at the Bailey and Gough Real Estate office in Prince Street, Grafton.

“We haven't heard anything else from Busways recently,” Peter Jackson said, “but after our protest I hope we will get some contact from them.”

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