Parents up in arms over route change

The Daily Examiner

A GROUP of parents campaigning against a change to a school bus route has had its petition to reverse the change rejected by the bus company.

Grafton resident Peter Jackson has a 13-year-old daughter with learning difficulties who attends Grafton High School.

Mr Jackson said he's been driving his daughter home from school since Busways changed its bus route three weeks ago.

His daughter had no sense of 'stranger danger' and the new bus stop was too far away for her to walk alone, he said.

Mr Jackson is one of a number of residents in the Dovedale area of Grafton who have been fighting against the changed bus route.

Many of the residents have children with disabilities. All up, Mr Jackson said almost 20 children had been affected.

Clarence MP Steve Cansdell wrote a letter to Busways three weeks ago to seek a response to the residents' concerns.

A Busways spokesperson responded last week. She said there was always a period of adjustment whenever a bus route was changed.

The spokesperson said that changing the route to go down Bacon Street instead of Breimba Street complied with NSW Ministry of Transport planning guidelines because the route was within 400 metres to 80 per cent of the local community.

Mr Jackson said he would pursue the matter further as the new bus route didn't only affect disabled students, but also elderly people in the area.

“This has really angered me because of my daughter,” Mr Jackson said.

He invited anyone with concerns about the bus route to contact him on 6643 4680.

If there was enough public interest in the matter, Mr Jackson said he would arrange a public meeting with Busways and Mr Cansdell.

The Busways spokesperson said it was monitoring the route to ensure community needs continued to be met.

“This has really angered me because of my daughter.”

- Peter Jackson

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