Bus-stop bunfight engulfs Saraton

AS the revamped Saraton Theatre in Grafton nears completion, debate over relocation of a bus-stop out the front continues.

The Notaras family, owners of the Saraton, wants the bus-stop in Prince Street moved. Transport operator Busways wants it to stay.

Spiro Notaras is determined not to open the million dollar redevelopment until the bus-stop has been moved from Prince Street to another location in the shopping district.

“We were hoping to open towards the end of March and that will be here before you know it, but we will not open if the bus-stop has not been moved,” Mr Notaras said.

“The silly thing is the buses sit in Pound Street while they wait and that’s where the bus-stop should be,” he said.

“It’s got nasty now and we are getting into a bunfight,” he said.

Mr Notaras said he had been under the impression Clarence Valley Council was acting swiftly on the issue, however, that was not the case.

He said council was ‘pretty weak’ because it had not approached Busways to recommend that the bus-stop be moved.

“Council have advised me that they have made the decision to move the bus-stop but they had to discuss it with Busways,” Mr Notaras said.

Busways marketing assistant Amy Bauerhunt said the Clarence council had not formally communicated its desire to move the bus-stop.

“Whilst Busways are aware of recent recommendations made by council we are still awaiting formal communication regarding the bus-stop opposite the Saraton Theatre in Prince Street,” she said.

“Council has requested the investigation of relocating the bus-stop to Pound Street, but this serves no purpose as our route network does not service this street.

“Busways believe that the current position of the bus-stop in Prince Street should be retained, as it is in the best position to meet the service needs of the community.”

Regular bus user Janet Grass told The Daily Examiner many people who catch the bus from in front of the theatre would prefer to see it moved for reasons of health and convenience.

“A lot of the elderly ladies are complaining about the bus-stops. King Street is preferred by many people because it is handy to the blood clinic, the mall, the RTA and the skin clinic so it would be more convenient,” she said.

“I have to walk from Coles with my groceries to the Saraton bus-stop and it is always grotty because people leave their litter there rather than taking it with them.

“There is no bin there; no wonder the theatre don’t want the buses stopping there.”

Clarence councillors want the bus-stop relocated and the Roads and Traffic Authority agrees.

Council operations manager Tim Jenkins said staff intend to speak with Busways.

“We will be in contact with Busways this week regarding possible other sites,” Mr Jenkins said.

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