New timetables don't suit everyone

BUS travellers in the Clarence Valley should get ready for some major changes as of next week.

Busways has announced a series of amendments to its timetable and routes which could dramatically affect many local residents.

While some routes in the Valley will receive more frequent services and benefit from new buses, other services will decrease in frequency and some will be cut completely.

One resident who isn't happy with the changes is Lauraine Ford, from South Grafton, who is dependent on the hourly bus service that comes to her street.

“I rely on that service to do everything; it is my only means of transport,” Mrs Ford said

“To get my groceries, to get to doctors appointments and most importantly to see my father who is in the aged care facility.

“If I could drive I would, but I am unable to get a licence as I have epilepsy.”

After contacting Busways regarding her concerns, Mrs Ford was told she could walk to another bus stop.

“I was told to walk to the bus stop that has a half-hourly service,” she said

“I would walk except I have major issues with my knees, hips and back which prevent me from walking for long distances.”

She is also concerned how this will affect elderly people in her area.

“Many of the elderly people who live around me also cannot walk long distances to another bus stop,” Mrs Ford said.

“Busways seems to be taking the service away from the most vulnerable and dependent people that live in our society.

“There was also no meeting regarding the changes to Busways services where the people that it would be affecting could voice their opinions.”

However, Busways Grafton depot manager Chris Webb says that while some residents will be affected, it is not all bad.

“There has been a re-evaluation of services due to a number of contributing factors.

“The timetable has become outdated, local demographics have changed, the city has expanded and new residential areas have popped up.

“This re-evaluation will also cater for future growth,” Mr Webb said.

Operation hours will also be extending and less confusing routes will be in existence.

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