Mums win kids' bus row
THE message in this week's "overloaded" bus story was clear - don't mess with the mums.
With reports circulating about anywhere between 80 and 115 kids crammed into a standard school bus as a result of major route changes - The Daily Examiner was first alerted to the issue on Tuesday by a Facebook callout for thumbs up and thumbs down.
Having received reassurances from Busways that these were mere teething problems, DEX gave the story a rest for a day but when the sardine rumours continued, the mums became even more determined to save their kids from "inhumane" treatment in this week's heatwave.
Grafton mum Kate Carlton said her daughter Madison, 8, was dreading the journey from Grafton Public School to McHugh St on Bus 12.
"It was completely ridiculous ... it was very overcrowded and unsafe," said Kate who witnessed the crowded bus drop Madison off this week.
Mrs Carlton said the initial response from Busways was unsatisfactory.
"They said 'that's the capacity' and they weren't going to do much about it," she said.
Fellow GPS mum Angela Collins, whose children Nathan, 7 and James, 6, also caught Bus 12, said she kept on being buck-passed in her phone complaints with the Roads and Maritime Service before she called the office of the Minister for Transport (Duncan Gay).
"He called himself the Minister of Transport for NSW and he said 'that's not right' and that he would get in touch with Busways," Mrs Collins said.
"It was distressing to see the bus in that state ... James has a broken arm and said he was bumped on the bus - he said he was too scared to catch the bus.
Whatever the affiliations with Ministers and bus companies, it would appear that something worked - Busways agreeing yesterday to have two buses cover the area that was this week reduced to one.
Mrs Carlton said the 11 kids who got off the bus at Madison's stop yesterday were all smiles thanks to the return of the status quo.
Both mothers reserved special praise for bus driver Dianne who, they said, had the utmost concern for the welfare of "her kids".
DEX was unable to confirm Mr Gay's involvement in the issue yesterday.